Israeli biotechnology startup Future Meat Technologies (FMT) recently secured $14 million in seed funding, led by S2G Ventures—an investment firm that worked with vegan brand Beyond Meat on its initial public offering. The funding will go toward building the FMT’s cultured meat production plant where the company will create slaughter-free meat from a combination of plant-based protein and lab-grown fat—an innovation that cuts the cost of growing animal meat from cells while maintaining the flavor and texture of animal-derived meat. “The worldwide demand for protein is growing exponentially, and the only way to meet this demand is by fundamentally reinventing animal agriculture,” FMT founder and chief scientist Yaakov Nahmias said. “Future Meat Technologies created a cost-effective solution for cultured meat manufacturing that is scalable and sustainable by design.” In 2013, Mark Post—founder of biotechnology company Mosa Meat—unveiled the world’s first lab-grown burger, which costs $325,000 to produce. Since then, a number of companies have been working to reduce the production costs of cultured meat with the aim of bringing their first products to market within several years. “The Future Meat team has developed a technology platform and roadmap that offers the cleanest and most efficient means of cell-based meat production, both in terms of capital expenditure and cost per pound, that we’ve seen to date,” Matthew Walker, managing director of S2G Ventures, said. FMT aims to begin operations at its pilot production plant in 2020.
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