California-based brand Wild Type raised $3.5 million in investment capital—led by firm Spark Capital—to support its efforts to developed cultured (or “clean”) meat. Justin Kolbeck, who worked as a United States diplomat in Afghanistan, and Arye Elfenbein, a former PhD candidate in the field of cardiology, founded Wild Type to create protein sources that would sustain the world’s growing population—currently estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. Wild Type hopes to use the capital to accelerate its development of clean salmon for use in sushi and eventually develop slaughter-free lox. The new funding will also go toward supporting a set of technologies that can be used to grow animal cells into meat across species. “We didn’t want to build a tool that could just be used for beef, or a specific type of chicken, or a specific fish,” Kolbeck told Tech Crunch. Wild Type joins a number of clean-meat startups—including Silicon Valley-based Memphis Meats, Israel-based SuperMeat, European company Mosa Meat, and Colorado-based Bond Pet Foods—that are currently developing alternatives to slaughtering animals for human and companion-animal consumption, with food technology startup JUST (makers of Just Mayo) planning to debut its first clean-meat product by the end of the year.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Kaminsky/Sophie’s Kitchen
Please note that this photo is not a depiction of lab-grown salmon.