Cargill has invested in Memphis Meats, the startup behind the world’s first cell-cultured meatball and chicken strip, according to a press release. Cargill did not reveal the size of the stake, but its investment was part of a $17 million Series A funding round led by DFJ, a venture capital firm that has previously backed Tesla. Richard Branson, Bill Gates and venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Atomico also invested in the latest round.
This is the first investment by a traditional meat company in the “clean meat” segment, where companies use cutting-edge cell-replicating technology to grow beef, poultry and fish from living animal tissue.
“Our investment in Memphis Meats is an exciting way for Cargill to explore the potential in this growing segment of the protein market,” Sonya McCullum Roberts, president of growth ventures for Cargill Protein, said in a Memphis Meats release. “Memphis Meats has the potential to provide our customers and consumers with expanded protein choices and is aligned with our mission to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.”