Atlast Product and Technology
Unlike many other plant-based business models that use a combination of soy and other crops, Atlast creates its product through the use of mycelium mushrooms. The startup company grows these mushrooms at an accelerated rate by mimicking natural underground growth conditions in large indoor farms. Through the use of solid state fermentation, the company can manipulate the mycelium into any shape or texture that the business demands.
This also allows for Atlast to bypass the several processing steps that most plant-based products a business sells must go through in order to create an item that closely resembles meat in taste and texture. Because mycelium already has strong inner fibers that resemble muscle tissue, Atlast has a natural business advantage. The entire process from initial growth to consumer-ready product only takes about 10 days for the business to complete, making turnaround times incredibly fast.
The startup company’s flagship product is its bacon alternative. With the ability to crisp and fry in a similar manner to actual pork belly, Atlast has seen incredible demand build for its mushroom product already. In fact, the bacon has proven to be incredibly popular amongst consumers, with some supermarkets even selling it directly next to actual pork products. As a result of this increased demand, there is a need to further expand production capabilities, thus, leading to this new infusion of funding.
Atlast Funding and Future Plans
In a recent funding goal, Atlast raised $40 million. The funding goal was led by Viking Global Investors with participation from 40 North, AiiM Partners, Senator Investment Group, Stray Dog Capital, and Footprint Coalition Ventures (co-founded by actor Robert Downey Jr.). The funding was also supported by leaders from Applegate, Stonyfield, and Whole Foods.
The new business capital will allow Atlast to expand production capabilities to meet current demand for the plant-based bacon. The money will also go toward scaling technology, expanding Atlast staff, and continuing product development.
When commenting on the newest funding for the startup company, President of Atlast Food, Stephen Lomnes, said, “This investment will allow us to meet the incredible demand we've felt for our product. We are building the largest mycelium production facility in the U.S. to provide consumers nationwide with a tastier alternative to their favorite animal proteins.”
Founder of Applegate Farms, Stephen McDonnell, added in a statement, “I've spent the last thirty years working to bring sustainable meat to consumers around the nation. The Atlast team is advancing that mission for the 21st century to give today's brands and consumers new plant based alternatives that mimic the texture and flavor of whole cut meats.”
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.