Alternative-meat startups have brought us burgers, nuggets and sausage. Now, steak is on the menu.
Meati Foods, a food tech startup providing plant-based meat, announced Tuesday it raised $150 million in Series C funding led by Revolution Growth with participation from Grosvenor Food & AgTech and Chipotle Mexican Grill’s venture fund Cultivate Next.
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According to Crunchbase data, this brings total funding for the startup to $278.6 million.
Meati Foods offers a line of whole-cut steak cutlets and chunks that use mycelium, a mushroom root, as the base. Earlier this week, it debuted its products at select Sprouts stores in Denver. It also entered into a partnership with Birdcall, a fast-casual restaurant with locations in Colorado and Arizona known for its crispy chicken sandwich.
A new kind of meat
The plant-based market largely includes startups attempting to mimic ground-meat products like burgers, nuggets or sausages. But cuts of meat with the same stringy, fibrous and varied texture as steak are harder to replicate.
Mycelium provides natural fiber structure that mimics chicken and beef. Each of Meati’s products are 95% mycelium.
Other startups attempting a similar consistency include Plantish, a stealth-mode Israeli startup, which produces flaky filets of salmon using the same proteins, minerals and fats of fish without actually using the meat.
Japan-based Next Meats is available online and in select California restaurants as vegan-based Wagyu beef or short ribs. And New York’s MyForest Foods boasts that it uses mycelium specifically to be sliced, not ground.
The world of alternative meat, made up of soy, plant fibers and even cells of actual meat grown in labs, raised $2.6 million in 2021 according to Crunchbase data.
It’s a million-dollar bump from what it raised in 2020. Impossible Foods, known for its bleeding burgers, dominated funding both years.
Meati’s funding will go toward building its “Mega Ranch,” a 100,000-square-foot production facility in Colorado that will help scale up operations.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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