This week, Mosa Meat announced that they raised EUR 7.5M (US$8.8M) in Series A funding. The round of funding was co-led by M Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Merck, and Bell Food Group, the largest meat processor in Switzerland. The round also included mission-based investors, such as Glass Wall Syndicate.
Based in Maastricht, Netherlands, Mosa Meat is a Dutch startup that uses cellular agriculture to grow cultured meat. Cellular agriculture (‘cell ag’) is the process of growing animal products, like meat, from cell cultures instead of raising animals for the same products. Compared to the present livestock agricultural system, cellular agriculture provides an alternative and sustainable way to produce animal products.
It is noteworthy that Merck, through its venture arm, made its first investment in cell ag by co-leading the round. As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Merck’s investment in Mosa Meat is their first investment in the food (and cell ag) space. Scaling production is one of the main obstacles in cellular agriculture, and Merck’s expertise in cell culturing and scaling production will be invaluable for Mosa Meat. Along with Merck, Bell Food Group’s investment represents another large meat player showing their support and interest in cell ag.
As the first European cultured meat startup to receive an investment, Mosa Meat plans to use the Series A funding to develop an end-to-end process for cultured meat production at a significantly reduced cost. Dr. Mark Post, one of Mosa Meat’s founders, know the important of reducing production costs firsthand. In 2013, Dr. Post introduced the world to cellular agriculture by presenting the first cultured meat hamburgers for a taste test in London. The cost? $700,000. At that cost, Mosa Meat would only be able to produce approximately 25 cultured meat burgers using their funding!
The funding will take Mosa Meat to the point where they can prepare to build its pilot production plant with plans to have the first product on the market by 2021 (fortunately, there will be other cell ag products out before then).