On Its Quest to Make Cultivated Meat Cheaper, Multus Biotechnology Secures a $9.5 Million Series A

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London-based Multus Biotechnology has closed a $9 million Series A funding round to help accelerate its technology aimed at reducing cultivated meat costs.

The funding was led by Mandi Ventures with participation from SOSV, Big Idea Ventures, and SynBioVen, alongside sustainable materials-focused company, Asahi Kasei. Multus also secured a $2.5 million grant from Innovate U.K. through the EIC Accelerator — Europe’s most competitive start-up grant.

Building the world’s first growth media facility

“Multus’ technology has the potential to revolutionize the cultivated meat industry by significantly reducing production costs and accelerating the commercial scale-up of the sector, benefiting cultivated meat producers, consumers and the environment,” Julio Benetti, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Mandi Ventures, said in a statement.

Proliferum M is Multus Biotechnology’s first product

The fresh funding follows a $2.2 million raise in 2021 and the launch of its first product, Proliferum M — an all-in-one media that eliminates the controversial fetal bovine serum still widely used in cultivated meat development.

Multus says the new funding will go to support the development of the world’s first growth media facility for cultivated meat development. Growth media are historically the most expensive component to producing cultivated meat.

“We are excited to use this funding to drive innovation in novel ingredient discovery, intelligent formulation design and food-safe growth media production for the affordable scale-up of the cellular agriculture industry,” said Multus CEO Cai Linton. “We are confident that our unique approach to growth media will play a key role in making cultivated meat a sustainable and affordable choice for all.”

The funding comes as the cultivated meat industry is poised for commercial production as regulatory approval in key markets could come within the year. Late last year, California-based cultivated meat producer Upside Foods cleared the first hurdle toward U.S. regulatory approval by earning the FDA’s GRAS status.

Earlier this week, California’s Eat Just Good Meat division earned the first regulatory approval for serum-free media. The approval was granted by the Singapore Food Agency, which also approved the company’s cultivated chicken in 2020. It’s currently the only cultivated meat approved for sale in the world.

Good Meat has earned regulatory approval for its serum-free media | Courtesy

Multus says its growth media formulations and ingredients will enable the industry to reach affordable at-scale production of animal products. It’s working beyond the cultivated meat scope to other animal-based products as well including dairy and leather.

The company says its tech enables a “genuinely sustainable alternative to intensive animal farming which continues to erode biodiversity, monopolize arable land, and emit high levels of greenhouse gasses.”

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