Israeli biotech company, Future Meat Technologies, which develops lab-grown meat,  raised $2.2 million last summer in a seed round led by Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Fortune 100 company Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food producers. Other participants in the round included Neto Group, one of the largest food conglomerates in Israel, S2G Ventures, a Chicago-based venture capital fund, BitsXBites, China’s first food technology venture capital fund, and Agrinnovation, an Israeli investment fund founded by Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and New York-based HB Ventures. Future Meat will use the funds to establish engineering activities, increase biological research, and recruit engineers, chefs, and scientists, the company said. The technology is based on Professor Yaakov Nahmias’ research at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is licensed through Yissum. The Jerusalem-based biotechnology company is located in the High Tech Park of the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the Hebrew University of  Jerusalem, in Givat Ram.

Prof. Nahmias notes that Future Meat is the only company that can produce animal fat without harvesting animals and without genetic modification. One of the obstacles is cost. “It is difficult to imagine cultured meat becoming a reality with a current production price of about $10,000 per kilogram,” said founder, Prof. Nahmias. “We redesigned the manufacturing process until we brought it down to $800 per kilogram today, with a clear roadmap to $5-10 per kg by 2020.” Future Meat CEO Rom Kshuk said, “Global demand for protein and meat is growing at a rapid pace, with an estimated worldwide market of more than a trillion dollars, including explosive growth in China. We believe that making a healthy, non-GMO product that can meet this demand is an essential part of our mission.” He added that lab-grown meat production can is eco-friendlier too. “We want to feed the world while protecting the environment.”

Source: NoCamels