Future Stars: New Age Meats

My SaaS pick of the week, future superstar companies at seed stage or below.

This one isn’t under the SaaS umbrella but I think this space is incredibly interesting and i’ve written about it before. With that being said, today I’m covering New Age Meats. They’re a fairly new meat alternative brand and they closed a Seed round back in February and I’ll cover that more later in the article. In short, New Age Meats is a biotechnology company that develops healthy cultivated meat grown from animal cells instead of animal slaughter.

If you read my prior article you know that many researches reveal that for consumers, consuming meat alternative foods have moved beyond experimentation into a permanent change brought on by health, lifestyle and social factors. Thus, following are market dynamics that discuss the meat alternative based food product aspects in the market. Climate change is recognized as a significant public health issue that will impact on food security. One of the major contributors to global warming is the livestock industry, and, relative to meat alternative based agriculture, meat production has a much higher environmental impact in relation to freshwater use, amount of land required, and waste products generated. Promoting increased consumption of meat alternative foods is a recommended strategy to reduce human impact on the environment and is also now recognized as a potential strategy to reduce the high rates of some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

New Age Meats is working to penetrate the ever popular meat alternative space and are off to a great start. Let’s start with the basics, they were founded by Brian Spears back in 2018 and are based in Berkeley, CA.

They are quick to answer some of our key questions on their site; like what will it taste like? Their answer: Meat — because it IS meat! We’re still working on our first products, but we’re utilizing our world class team and partnering with food experts to create the most delicious and nutritious culinary experience.

It’s cool to know they will compete with leading plant based alternative in the category of taste. Now we want to know where to buy, and that’s the wall. Currently you can’t buy their product and that’s because cultivated meat is not yet approved by the FDA. That’s exactly why I call this series future stars! Although today it’s not a possibility, we don’t know exactly when it will come to shelves but we can guess it will happen sooner than later.

There’s a few other points they hit on which are reassuring to their buyers:

It’s better for you. Conventional methods of raising livestock include a slew of antibiotics, growth hormones, and potential exposure to nasty contaminates like E. Coli and Salmonella. When we cultivate meat from cells we bypass all of that, resulting in the purest, most delicious, nutritionally dense meat possible.

It’s better for animals. To be an animal on a factory farm is a short and sad life to live. Imagine a world where we can raise just a handful of animals to harmlessly harvest simple DNA samples from over the course of their lives. Because they’re not on an ethically questionable conveyor belt to slaughter, they can live peacefully in an environment that’s not strapped for resources.

It’s better for our planet. Compared to conventional methods of raising livestock, making meat from cells reduces greenhouse gases by 96% while using 99% less land, 96% less water, and 45% less energy.

Let’s behind the curtain at their funding, starting in 2018 with a $250k round from SOSV. They quickly moved forward to raise a $2.7m round in 2019 from eight different investors. Following that another $2m round in 2020 and then another $2m round this past February. Totaling to $7m in funding, they’re well on their way and should have the necessary runway for additional research and development.

Now from here we really just wait and watch. The investors are in place and the team is working on developing the product. Until the FDA approves this alternative product we will have to hold our breath and keep a lookout for additional updates and funding.

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