Meati Raises $100M in Largest Alt-Protein Investment Since 2022, Expands to 6,000 Stores

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Colorado-based food tech startup Meati has closed a $100M Series C1 funding round, the largest investment in an alternative protein company since 2022.

Mycelium meat innovator Meati has secured $100M in Series C1 funding, taking its total raised to $365M since being founded seven years ago. It is the largest investment in an alternative protein startup since Meati’s own $150M Series C round in 2022.

The latest round was led by Grosvenor Food & AgTech, and included returning investors like Prelude Ventures, Bond, Revolution Growth and Congruent. The capital injection was accompanied by the appointment of Grosvenor Food & AgTech’s Katrin Burt and Prelude Ventures’ Mark Cupta to Meati’s board.

We will use the funding for a variety of purposes, including maintaining our high growth momentum and scaling to additional retail locations across the US,” newly appointed CEO Phil Graves tells Green Queen. “We are also working to continue building awareness of MushroomRoot and helping consumers understand that our highly nutritious and nature-based whole food protein is very different from the plant-based alternatives currently available.”

In addition to the funding, the mycelium chicken and beef producer expanded into 2,000 Kroger stores in April, cementing the company’s rapid growth from six retail locations to 6,000 doors nationwide within a year. Meati now aims to reach 10,000 stores by the end of 2024.

A major investment round in a deserted sector

plant based investment
Courtesy: GFI

Meati’s sizeable raise comes on the back of a tough year for alternative proteins, both in terms of sales and investment. In the US, retail dollar sales of plant-based meat fell by 12% in 2023, while funding in alternative proteins was down by 44% from the year before, according to industry think tank the Good Food Institute. This was reflective of the wider landscape around food tech, where venture capital dried up last year.

Even fermentation protein companies like Meati – which employs biomass fermentation for its flagship MushroomRoot ingredient – saw funding dip by 39%. That said, this sector has already attracted $228M this year (not counting Meati’s raise), thoroughly outpacing plant-based ($58M) and cultivated meat ($12M) in financing so far.

Meati’s Series C1 round means fermentation companies have now brought in over five times more money than plant-based and 27 times more than cultivated protein startups in 2024.

“It’s a tough investment market for everyone. Unfortunately, plant-based products have experienced a dip in sales, and that’s largely due to a lack of transparency about ingredients and nutrition,” says Graves. “Shoppers care about versatility, nutritional value, and flavour, something we prioritise in our products. MushroomRoot isn’t plant-based; it’s not an animal, either. We are a unique category of whole-food protein.”

He argues that this is exactly what made Meati stand out for investors. “Our MushroomRoot products are second to none – they are the healthiest protein on the planet,” he notes. “The Meati team has deep experience working across high-growth CPG businesses. They are experts in their fields and have successfully brought a novel food product to market, scaling to over 6,000 in a little over a year’s time. That kind of growth is unheard of and largely due to the innovation taking place within our mega ranch [facility in Thornton, which can produce 40 million lbs of product per year].”

Rounding off the reasons why Meati has been successful in raising capital, he adds: “We have a strong and loyal consumer base, as evidenced by our high repurchase rate and continued placement as one of the top-selling SKUs for our retailers in the alternative protein category.”

Leadership changes and layoffs

meati mycelium
Courtesy: Meati

The investment comes on the back of a host of changes in the C-suite for the Colorado startup. In February, Graves – a former Patagonia executive – joined Meati as its CFO. Two weeks later, however, he was appointed CEO, taking over from co-founder Tyler Huggins, who became the chief innovation officer. The same month, then-COO and president Scott Tassani left the company too.

Now, Huggins is moving into an advisory role. “When Justin Whiteley and I founded Meati, we set out to harness the power of nature to make awesome products that were a positive force for good in the world,” he says. “It’s inspiring to see how far we’ve come in a short period of time, and I’m ready to pass the day-to-day running of the company to Phil Graves and the leadership team to take it to the next level.”

“While changes in leadership are always impactful, Meati is in a strong position to meet our goals and continue to scale our products in retailers around the country,” says Graves. “Our leadership team, and our board, have strong and diverse experience in high-growth CPG companies and in building sustainable, profitable companies.”

The company also reduced its headcount by 13% in February, which was the third round of cuts made by Meati in nine months. Asked if the business is exploring further layoffs, Graves says: “We are not planning any changes to our team at this time.”

Meati’s bid for profitability

eat meati
Courtesy: Meati

The cutbacks were part of a right-sizing move aimed at reaching profitability, with the target of reaching $1B in sales by the end of 2025. While that goal was thought to be pushed back after the restructuring, the company has certainly made progress since, growing its retail footprint from 3,600 in February to 6,000 now. “We are on track to be in 7,000 retail locations by the end of May,” reveals Graves.

These retailers include Super Target, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, Meijer, Wegmans and now Kroger and its Family of Companies (which comprise the likes of Ralphs, City Market, Dillons and more). They carry the Eat Meati range of whole-cut chicken cutlets and steaks. The startup has previously also rolled out chicken nuggets and a line of MushroomRoot Jerky, alongside an online D2C marketplace, but it’s now shifted focus to its retail expansion and aforementioned core product line.

But Graves – who remains positive about the “strong potential” of plant-based foods, noting that the “category as a whole has learned the lesson of greater transparency with consumers” – says the company’s products perform well with customers.

“Meati has grown exponentially over the last year: we are available in all 50 states and within a 20-mile radius for 200 million Americans,” he explains. “40% of our purchases come from consumers who have never tried animal-free protein before and we have consistently maintained 60% repurchase rates, which is something you don’t see in the industry.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, he reiterates that the company is on track for a significant retail expansion in the US. He adds: “We’re focused on scaling our product, managing growth and achieving our goal of being the first gross margin-positive alternative protein company.”


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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