Announcing Vow’s Series A

George Peppou
Vow.
Published in
5 min readNov 14, 2022

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Vow is built on a really simple idea: invent new meats that meat lovers choose selfishly. All whilst having the smallest possible impact on our planet.

Today we announced an important step in this journey, sharing the news of Vow’s $49.2m USD Series A led by Blackbird and Prosperity7 with participation from Square Peg, Grok Ventures, Tenacious Ventures, Toyota Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, HostPlus, NGS Super and Pavilion Capital.

I’d like to share a heartfelt thank you to the investors that have been with us on the Vow journey so far, and those that are joining us now.

This new funding enables us to bring our first products to market, build out Factory 2 to massively expand manufacturing and grow our commercial team. All of this sets Vow on the trajectory to become the biggest food company on the planet.

What we are building at Vow

The logic of Vow is extremely simple: to change the behaviour of people that love eating meat we need to make foods that are better than what already exists.

Demand for meat is already stretching our planets to the limit. Wherever you look there is a chorus of people decrying the emissions and public health risks of increasingly intensive animal agriculture.

For a visceral example of what intensification looks like watch this upbeat YouTube video featuring a 26 story ‘pig hotel’. Yeah, not great.

To change this we know we need to win over the meat eaters. Making foods for vegans and vegetarians won’t change the demand for meat.

To do this we need to make foods that are tastier, more nutritious and more functional than animals. Meats so good they are chosen selfishly.

The big incoming transition

We believe the >$1T global meat category has already begun its transition from animals to brands.

Today we use animals and the cuts we eat as a shorthand for the flavour and nutrition of different meats. We know that chicken breast is lower in fat and lighter in flavour than a pork belly, or that salmon is a more nutritious option than bacon.

We aren’t selecting chicken specifically because you want to eat something that had feathers, nor salmon for something scaly. In fact, we try very hard to forget the animal when we eat meat.

We believe, as cultured meat technology advances, we will design meats to be sold without any reference to animals. After all, this is already how we buy almost all food.

You can immediately imagine what Cheerio’s look, taste and sound like. Same with an Oreo or Ritz. When you take a bite you are almost certainly not thinking about the specific grains that are used in their production.

We believe fifty years from now you will buy meat in much the same way, buying branded meats that don’t even reference animals.

This is what we are building at Vow, building both the technology and the products that will form this future category.

The Vow plan until now

We are a young company with an enormous ambition: to build the largest food company on the planet (not to mention healing our planet at the same time).

Almost three years ago to the day, we sent a letter to all shareholders that included this summary of Vow would do:

We want to make it extremely clear that Vow is a food company, enabled by cultured meat technology. Not the other way round. Our long term goal is to have a wide range of food products under different brands that appeal to their respective markets. To get there we have to move the industry away from its prohibitively expensive medical-technology origins.

This first year will see us looking a lot like a biotech company. We need to focus close to 100% of our effort in hardcore R&D to get to a first iteration of food that can be grown at scale. This will require a great deal of time spent in the lab. The initial strategy of Vow is to enter the fine-dining food market, where chefs are adventurous enough to play, and customers are prepared to pay a premium. This will almost certainly be outside of Australia at first, focussing wherever we have the most success from a regulatory perspective.

In parallel to this we will continue to pour the majority of our efforts into R&D, advancing towards entering premium retail and food service markets. These will be better products, under individual brands, at higher volumes. All cash flow will continue to be poured back into R&D, to increase production capacity, reduce per-unit costs, and bring more and more branded products to market quickly. We can scale the best products and brands to power this virtuous cycle, ultimately becoming a house of brands with incredible food products.

So in summary:

1) Produce high-end food products sold through fine-dining experiences

2) Pilot early products in markets with accelerated regulation

3) Scale the winners, continue to pilot more and more products

This was our strategy in 2019 and is still our strategy today.

Vow today

Three years ago when we shared this we were a team of just four people. We were working out of a lab in a high school. We had so much to learn.

Now, just as we planned, we have prepared our first product, Morsel, launching in 2023 in high end dining in Singapore. Morsel is made using cultured Umai Quail cells.

Morsel, served in French onion

We produce Morsel in our first factory, the largest operating facility on the planet.

All of this has been made possible by more than sixty incredibly intelligent and dedicated Vowzers. To each of you, thank you. For making all of this happen.

Finally, I want to especially thank and acknowledge the courage of the more than fifteen Vowzers that have moved their lives all the way to Australia to join our mission.

Here’s to the next chapter of the Vow story 🥂

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