Meati Raises $50 Million for Its Mushroom-Based Meat

Meati, an alternative meat startup company, announced it raised $50 million to support its growth and commercial launch.

A pile of mushrooms.

What Is Meati?

Founded in 2019, Meati is a Colorado-based startup company that produces alternative steak and chicken options made from the roots of mushrooms. With the mission of providing a nutritious and healthy meat alternative, the business utilizes a fermentation process to produce its mushroom-based meat. Fermentation is the chemical process of substances breaking down into other substances. 

The founders of the startup, Tyler Huggins and Justin Whiteley, each have expertise in materials and biology, as well as experience with farming. From their Ph.D. research at the University of Colorado Boulder, the founders discovered the health benefits derived from mycelium (the mushroom roots) to develop the mushroom-based meat. According to the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, mushrooms are low-calorie, low-fat, contain fiber, and also feature vitamins and nutrients like copper, potassium, and B vitamins. 

The company is attempting to innovate and steer people toward meat alternatives as plant-based meats can provide more health benefits and are better for the environment compared to traditional meat. Statista reported that in 2018, the global meat industry was valued at around $946 billion and is projected to reach roughly $1.1 trillion by 2023. This massive meat industry, however, causes more harmful effects on the environment as it contributes a significant portion to carbon emissions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock. 

Meati’s mushroom-based meat and other alternative meat competitors like Mushlabs, Atlast Food Co., MorningStar Farms, Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods are making a name for themselves as food movements like veganism and vegetarianism continue to grow. Startup Savant reported in April that the global meat substitute industry is projected to grow by about $7.2 billion from 2021 to 2025. 

$30 Million Investment

The startup business announced it raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Acre Venture Partners. Other investors in this funding round include BOND, Prelude Ventures, Congruent Ventures, and Tao Capital. Crunchbase data indicates the startup previously raised $28 million in a Series A round last fall. 

CEO and co-founder of the company, Tyler Huggins, said in an interview, “Ultimately, we’re introducing a whole new type of food, a whole new type of protein...I want to do this the right way. I want to bring people to the proverbial meat table and have a conversation.”

Huggins added that when the business grows to a larger scale, it could potentially produce mushroom-based protein that is equivalent to the same amount of protein produced by 4,500 cows every day. If Meati can achieve this, the company could sell its mushroom-based meat at a similar price point as standard meat.

With the new capital, Meati plans to finish construction on its 80,000-square foot facility. In addition, the new funding will help the business prepare for the commercial launch of its mushroom-based products next year.

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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