The traditional meat industry faces business, ethical and environmental concerns. Covid-19 made consumers realise the issues in the meat supply chain for the first time, including the workers’ health or the ethical treatment of animals. Several other reasons for the shift towards a more meatless future include urbanisation, population growth, healthier lifestyle change, and a rising global middle class leading to greater meat consumption. With advances in agtech and synthetic biology, these startups can emulate the flavour and texture of traditional animal meat.
According to CB Insights’ Industry Analyst Consensus, the global meat market could be worth as much as USD 2.7T by 2040. According to Bloomberg News, the demand for vegan meat has soared, with retail sales of plant-based meat alternatives reaching USD 7B in 2020 — an increase of 27% from 2019.
Here we have carefully curated a list of global top 10 alternative meat startups. The startups in this list are ranked according to the total funding they have raised to date. All these startups have distinguished themselves by the product or service they provide in the industry. CrunchBase and Pitchbook are the primary sources of data used in this article.
- Founders: Karim Pichara Baksai, Matias Muchnick, Pablo Zamora
- Founding Year: 2015
- Headquarters: Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
- Total Funding Received: USD 359,999,995
- Investors: SOSV, General Catalyst, Tiger Global Management, IndieBio, Endeavor Catalyst, Kaszek, DFJ Growth and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series D, USD 235 million
NotCo produces plant-based food products to bring animals out of food production while not compromising on taste. The company’s products use pineapple, coconut, cabbage, peas, bamboo, beets, chickpeas and seeds to replicate animal-based products’ taste, texture, colour and aroma, enabling manufacturers to discover a new source of fibre, calcium and proteins from the vegetables.
- Founder: Nick Hazell
- Founding Year: 2019
- Headquarters: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Total Funding Received: A$184,000,000
- Investors: Sequoia Capital China, Temasek Holdings, Horizons Ventures, Main Sequence, China Renaissance, Astanor Ventures, Huaxing Growth Capital, ABC World Asia and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series B, A$72,000,000
V2food produces plant-based meat products to offer meat alternatives in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. The company’s products are made with natural ingredients that have an adequate amount of protein, energy, fibre and specific amino acids, enabling customers to enjoy food items that taste like meat while ensuring minimal greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation and biodiversity loss worldwide.
3. Meati Foods
- Founders: Justin Whiteley, Tyler Huggins
- Founding Year: 2016
- Headquarters: Boulder, Colorado, United States
- Total Funding Received: USD 127,100,000
- Investors: National Science Foundation, Social Starts, US Department of Energy, Prelude Ventures, Fifty Years, Tao Capital Partners, Better Ventures, Congruent Ventures and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series B, USD 50 million
Meati Foods manufactures plant-based products to act as a sustainable alternative to meat. The company specializes in producing fungi-based steaks that are minimally processed and made from natural ingredients using a fermentation process and are free from any kind of common allergens, thereby providing consumers with vegan food choices.
4. Planted Foods
- Founders: Christoph Jenny, Eric Stirnemann, Lukas Böni, Pascal Bieri
- Founding Year: 2019
- Headquarters: Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
- Total Funding Received: USD 53,713,875
- Investors: Venture Kick, Social Starts, ACE & Company, MassChallenge Switzerland, Blue Horizon, Vorwerk Ventures, Joyance Partners, Good Seed Ventures and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Convertible Note, CHF19,000,000
Planted Foods create plant-based meats to reduce consumption of animal-based proteins, protect species and stay healthy. The company’s meats taste and feel like animal meat, are produced from naturally-sourced plant ingredients, mainly pea protein, pea fibre, sunflower oil and water that are gluten-free, GMO-free, vegan products containing low fats and calories, enabling consumers to enjoy organic, healthy meat alternatives with no chemical additives.
- Founder: Tsuyoshi Ide
- Founding Year: Dec 1, 2015
- Headquarters: Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto, Japan
- Total Funding Received: ¥4,030,000,000
- Investors: Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Global Brain Corporation, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital, Marubeni, Shinkin Capital, QB Capital, The Norinchukin Bank, Okasan Capital Partners and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Corporate Round, ¥700,000,000
Daiz creates plant-based food products to offer plant-based substitutes for familiar meat dishes. The company’s food products are made from soybean-derived functional substances, enabling foodies to have access to a healthy and cruelty-free alternative to meat.
6. Next Gen Foods
- Founders: Andre Menezes, Timo Recker
- Founding Year: 2020
- Headquarters: Singapore, Central Region, Singapore
- Total Funding Received: USD 32.2 million
- Investors: GGV Capital, Temasek Holdings, Blue Horizon, K3 Ventures, FEBE Ventures, Bits x Bites, Chris Yeh, Jan Wilmking and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Seed, USD 20 million
Next Gen Foods produces plant-based foods to create a plant-based diet that is rich in nutrition. The company’s plant-based products look and taste like meat and are developed using the agricultural food ecosystem, enabling consumers to have foods that are rich in protein and nutrients.
- Founders: Andy Shovel, Pete Sharman
- Founding Year: Oct 2019
- Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom
- Total Funding Received: USD 28,440,101
- Investors: Seedcamp, Idinvest Partners, Business Growth Fund, BACKED VC, Manta Ray Ventures, CPT Capital, Five Seasons Ventures, Lever VC and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series A, £11,000,000
THIS manufactures plant-based meat alternative products intended to satisfy meat lovers with plant-meat-based dishes. The company’s products are made of plant-based ingredients fortified with nutrients and high in protein. They are designed to have the same texture and taste as meat, enabling customers to get the feel of having meat-based products and satisfy their tastes without harming animals.
8. Rebellyous Foods
- Founders: Christie Lagally
- Founding Year: 2017
- Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States
- Total Funding Received: USD 24,753,800
- Investors: Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Daniel Curran, UpHonest Capital, Fifty Years, Sinai Ventures, Blue Horizon and others
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series, USD 3,890,000
Rebellyous Foods produces plant-based meat to serve the foodservice market, retail and QSRs to replace animal-based meat on a large scale. The company’s meat is sustainable, affordable and delicious. It is made using novel food manufacturing equipment and processes, enabling customers to have protein-packed chicken nuggets, patties and chicken strips made with plant produce.
9. Heura Foods
- Founders: Bernat Ananos Martinez, Marc Coloma
- Founding Year: 2017
- Headquarters: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
- Total Funding Received: USD 24,234,688
- Investors: MassChallenge, Crowdcube, Capital V, Chris Smalling
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series A, €16,000,000
Heura manufactures vegan food to change people’s perception of plant-based meat with vegan chicken. The company’s services mainly focus on offering soy-based meat alternatives which have a short ingredient list and are further enriched with vitamins and nutrients, enabling customers to buy products with the experience of meat and the benefits of vegetables.
10. Vesta Food Lab
- Founders: Xun Jiang, Zihan Xie
- Founding Year: Jul 3, 2019
- Headquarters: Beijing, Beijing, China
- Total Funding Received: USD 1,998,715
- Investors: IMO Ventures, Shanghai Xuerong Bio-Technology
- Last Funding Round Type and Deal Amount: Series A, CN¥14,000,000
Vesta Food Lab develops plant-based meat food products. The company’s technology aims to create a meat substitute food that can be used in many cooking styles, enabling consumers to enjoy healthier, more environmentally friendly foods.
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