Singapore-based cultivated meat company Meatiply has secured $3.75 million in the first close of its seed funding round.

Meatiply said in a statement on Wednesday that the round is co-led by existing investor Wavemaker Partners and AgFunder, with participation from SEEDS Capital, the venture investment arm of Enterprise Singapore.

According to the statement, the fresh funds will help the firm expand its research and development (R&D) capabilities and scale up production for more extensive product co-development with commercial partners, with a new facility expected to come online in 2024, two years ahead of a targeted commercial launch in 2026.

“Despite a more cautious investment approach this year, investors were excited by our development strategy,

“Likewise, we are thrilled that our investors share our vision to leverage Meatiply’s strong upstream capabilities to create complex and functional products that not only
justifies the use of animal cells, but also results in significant cost reductions,” said Meatiply Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Elwin Tan.

Meanwhile, its Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Jason Chua said that Meatiply believes in maximizing the potential of each cell type.

“Our focus on the production of complex value-added compounds using cells will allow us to create cultivated meat products with added health benefits,

“This strategic entry point will give consumers more reasons to embrace cultivated technologies. Besides meat, we are also positioned for opportunities to commercialize in the nutraceutical and wellness market,” he added.

Its Co-founder Prof. Teh Bin Tean, on the other hand, said that the numerous research and development grants in Singapore, coupled with the presence of brilliant and purpose-driven individuals within the scientific and start-up ecosystems, have enabled them to establish a strong second-mover trajectory.

Meatiply was founded by stem cell researchers Dr. Elwin Tan, Dr. Jason Chua, Dr. Benjamin Chua, and Prof. Teh Bin Tean in 2021.

Prior to starting Meatiply, the founders were researchers at the Agency of Science, Technology and Research, Singapore’s premier public sector scientific research agency, and other institutions.

Meatiply is a cultivated foods company taking a multi-cell type approach in developing complex and nutritive food products.

Its scientifically grounded approach utilizes a combination of different cell types (muscle, fat, skin, etc.) to generate natural compounds responsible for the sensory and nutritional qualities of meat and meat products.

Additionally, targeting the production of natural compounds with health benefits allows Meatiply to target the functional foods market.

Since securing a pre-seed round of $1 million in early 2022, Meatiply has showcased three advanced cultivated meat tech prototypes across three different species (including Asia’s first cultivated smoked duck breast), incorporating both mature fat and muscle cells from their respective species.

With a focus on nutrition and health benefits, the firm strives to produce cultivated meat products for the betterment of human health, the environment, and animal welfare.

Meatiply also said the firm is a frontrunner with its comprehensive approach towards cultivated meat product development.

Armed with innovations across the cultivated meat value chain and a robust portfolio of cell types and species, it said the firm is poised to create functional meat products for consumers.

It said Meatiply’s cells can produce ingredients for use in value-added conventional food production and plant based products to form compelling hybrid products.

“As deep tech investors, we believe that cultivated meat companies offer more robust and defensible business models compared to other alternative meat technologies,” said Paul Santos, Managing Partner at Wavemaker Partners.

While the challenge of meeting product launch deadlines persists for many companies, he said the Meatiply team has demonstrated the ability to achieve meaningful results within shorter timeframes and with considerably less funding.

He also said their achievements in developing hybrid structured poultry prototypes have particularly impressed them.

“Our existing food production systems are increasingly proving unsustainable. Despite being in the initial stages of reshaping this industry, it presents a substantial opportunity for entrepreneurs capable of truly disrupting it,

“We have confidence in the diverse backgrounds and technical skills of Meatiply’s founders, coupled with their unique technology, which positions them on a viable path to
commercial success,” he said.

John Friedman, AgFunder’s Asia Director, said that the firm is highly impressed by what the Meatiply team has achieved in a short amount of time and with relatively limited external funding.

“We firmly believe there is a place for cultivated meat technology in our future food system, and are encouraged by Meatiply’s practical approach towards product development and go to market strategy,

“We look forward to a future where cultivated animal products are a commercially viable reality for the masses to enjoy, and are excited to be partnering Meatiply to make this happen,” he added.

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