Is France About to Become the World Leader In Cultivated Meat?

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Paris-based cultivated meat company Gourmey has announced the closing of an oversubscribed €48 million Series A funding round to accelerate its culinary-grade sustainable meat and foie gras and open the largest cultivated meat hub in Europe.

The oversubscribed funding follows its €10 million seed round and was led by Earlybird Venture Capital with participation from Amsterdam-based Keen Venture Partners and Instacart CEO Fidji Simo as well as existing investors including Heartcore Capital, Point Nine Capital, Air Street Capital, Pazrtech, and Beyond Investing.

Scaling up

Gourmey plans to open a 46,000-square-foot commercial production facility in Paris by 2024. It will be the largest hub of its kind in all of Europe, capable of producing tens of thousands of pounds of high-quality cultivated meat, starting with the brand’s signature product, cultivated foie gras.

“Food is the single strongest lever we can action as individuals to slow down climate change. Today, we are thrilled to see our vision of a more sustainable food system come to life as we are moving from R&D to production and commercialization with the building of one of the largest cultivated meat plants in the world”, Gourmey co-founder & CEO, Nicolas Morin-Forest, said in a statement.

Gourmey's foie gras
Gourmey’s cultivated foie gras

Gourmey, which launched in 2019, developed its foie gras from duck egg cells. Not only is the product more sustainable than conventional foie gras, but it addresses the ethical concerns over the pâté that’s made from engorged duck and geese livers. The practice is banned in a number of European countries including the Austrian provinces, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. In the U.S., it’s banned in New York and California.

Paradigm shift

“Gourmey is well positioned to become a global winner and lead the paradigm shift towards a more sustainable, equitable and resilient food supply chain. The company’s exceptional team has demonstrated how so-called frontier technology’s bottlenecks can be overcome at record-speed”, said Christian Nagel, Partner & Co-Founder at Earlybird Venture Capital.

“Gourmey has developed its breakthrough products rapidly and with greater capital efficiency than its peers thanks to the team’s immense ingenuity in stem cell, bioprocess engineering and food sciences. Their approach is generalisable to diverse mammalian tissues and huge scales, which charts a clear path to becoming a platform food company”, said Nathan Benaich, General Partner at Air Street Capital.

The Gourmey Team
The Gourmey Team

“We are committed to joining Gourmey in its mission to help satisfy the world’s growing appetite for meat without compromising on planetary health or flavor”, added Alexander Ribbink, General Partner at Keen Venture Partners.

“The next few months and years are going to be immensely pivotal and exciting not only for Gourmey but more broadly for cultivated meat and sustainable foods”, said Nicolas Morin-Forest. The company says its products have already earned praise and support from French and Michelin-starred chefs.

The funding comes as cultivated meat companies around the world are making advancing on promising prototypes, with Singapore-based Meatiply debuting the first cultivated duck breast this week and Orbillion announcing a partnership that would see cultivated wagyu steak launched across Europe.

Lead image courtesy Gourmey.


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