Meati Foods raises $50m to expand its fungi-based ‘whole cut’ meat alternatives platform

The “significantly oversubscribed​” round – which also featured participation from Prelude Ventures, Congruent Ventures, and Tao Capital – will help Boulder, CO-based Meati Foods​ expand its team and build out its almost-80,000sq ft ‘Urban Ranch’ production facility, which will have the capacity to produce millions of pounds of ‘meat’ by 2022.  

Unlike most players in the meat alternative space, who use extruded soy, peas, or wheat protein, Meati Foods​​ ​​is seeking to stand out in a category dominated by processed products, such as burgers and nuggets, by using a naturally occurring strain of mycelia, the filamentous-like root structures of mushrooms (although the strain Meati is using doesn’t have a mushroom ‘cap’), said founder and CEO Dr Tyler Huggins.  

At scale, Meati’s growing process can produce the meat equivalent of 4,500 cows every 24 hours, and requires less than 1% of the water and land compared to conventional industrial meat production, according to the company.

‘We have a PDCAAS score of 1, which is similar to eggs and milk’​​

Inherently high in protein and fiber, the fungi can be grown highly-efficiently in fermentation tanks fed with a carbon source like sugar,​ said Huggins, who said fungi-based chicken breasts, steak and jerky are in the final stages of development right now, with pork tenderloin, deli meats and other products to follow.  

4.5 ounces of Meati steak offers 25g complete protein, more than one third of the daily fiber needs, and an array of essential vitamins and minerals, Huggins explained to FoodNavigator-USA in a recent interview: “[Meati] has got no inherent flavor and it’s bright white with long fibrous filaments that mimic muscle structure. It’s also really high in protein. We’re at greater than 60% by weight protein and we have a PDCAAS score of 1, which is similar to eggs and milk; there are few single plant-based proteins like this.”​​

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