Hoxton Farms Closes $22 Million Series A for Cultivated Animal Fat
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U.K.-based Hoxton Farms says it has closed a $22 million Series A funding round for its novel cultivated animal fat. The funding follows a $3.6 million Seed round last year.
The fresh funding round was led by Collaborative Fund and supported by Fidelity parent FMR LLC-affiliated Fine Structure Ventures. Hoxton Farms says the funding will support the development of a pilot facility in London’s Shoreditch area. The facility will produce animal fat from stem cells to help address conventional meat’s carbon footprint.
Improving taste and texture of plant-based meat
Demand for sustainable alternatives to animal meat is on the rise in western Europe, with sales rising nearly 20 percent last year to a record-setting €2.3 billion ($2.25 billion).
Hoxton is using cultivated tech—taking live cells from animals and growing them in bioreactors—a tech widely used to recreate meat and fish. But Hoxton says it plans to supply its cultivated fat to plant-based meat producers to help improve flavor and texture. Products like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat’s burger rely on coconut oil to mimic the taste and texture of conventional animal fat.
“Coconut, sunflower, palm, and canola oil taste funky, degrade quickly, burn easily, melt inconsistently,” co-founder Max Jamilly said in a statement.
“The result is not an alternative. It’s real fat tissue, just made in a different way,” he told Reuters.
According to Jamilly, the world is heading for a food security crisis, as rising populations mean the global demand for food increases as well. Climate change is only adding to the problem, threatening staple foods as rising temperatures put pressure on crops and growing seasons.
“Long term, it may be possible to feed the entire planetary population with plants alone,” Jamilly said. “But the reality is that’s not going to happen anytime soon.”
Hoxton’s announcement comes on the heels of another big raise for lab-made fat. Nourish Ingredients, an Australian food tech startup, just raised more than AUD$45 million (USD$28.6 million) in a Series A for its microbial fermentation animal fats.
Like Hoxton, Nourish says the fats market has been largely underserved.
“By overlooking fats, the market has missed the most essential element to the taste experience. That’s where Nourish comes in,” co-founder Dr. James Petrie said in a statement. “We’re not just mimicking meat — we’re creating animal ingredients but from an animal-free source.”
Lead image courtesy Impossible Foods.