Cultivated Fat Startup Cultimate Raises €700,000 Pre-Seed
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With backing from Big Idea Ventures, ProVeg International, and Realum.cloud, cultivated fat startup Cultimate has raised €700,000 in a pre-seed funding round.
The German-based Cultimate Foods is working to upgrade meat alternatives with cultivated fat that produces the taste and mouthfeel of conventional animal products. The new funding will allow the company to scale up its production processes and fully validate its cultivated fat product solution and prepares the technology for the pilot stage.
Animal fat for plant-based food
“Our ultimate goal is to deliver a game-changing ingredient for the plant-based meat industry. We are focused on developing the most important part of meat experience, fat. Cultimate will deliver all the properties of meat that are currently lacking in the available meat alternatives,” co-founder of Cultimate George Zheleznyi, said in a statement.
The company has expanded its research and development team as well as launched its own laboratory in Göttingen, Germany.
“I believe science is the answer to many of the problems of the food industry and, by extension, to climate change. With our technology we can give consumers the meaty taste that they want while reducing animal farming and CO2 emissions,” said Eugenia Sagué, co-founder of Cultimate, who previously held several positions in the plant-based food industry.
Cultimate is the latest company focused on the hybrid market—bringing cultivated animal cell products to alternatives such as plant-based or fungi-based protein.
Sustainable food demand
Demand for sustainable and ethical protein continues to rise and so is meat consumption; global meat consumption could double by 2050. The world’s leading climate and health organizations routinely urge consumers to reduce meat consumption for their health and to slow the impact of climate change. Meat production is a key producer of greenhouse gases.
Cultimate says the hybrid market offers significant opportunities for the global food system, which could lower production costs as well as impact.
The funding announcement follows several other funding rounds in the animal fat sector. Last month, Hoxton Farms and Nourish Ingredients both raised Series A rounds; Hoxton is using a similar cell-cultured approach and Nourish is working with microbial fermentation to replicate the texture and function of fat.
It’s not just animal fat getting the tech makeover; earlier this month, C16 Biosciences, the biotech company backed by Bill Gates, announced it will launch its first consumer-facing palm oil products next year.
Lead image courtesy Cultimate.