If you’re adventurous with your food, or just like to keep up with the fast-moving food tech industry, here’s a roundup of this week’s stories and some notable news we weren’t able to cover.
Upside Foods gets on the plate
In what is perhaps the first ever sale of cultivated meat in the United States, Upside Foods said it is unveiling its whole-textured product at Chef Dominique Crenn’s restaurant Bar Crenn in San Francisco today. This comes just a week after gaining approval to sell its cell-cultivated chicken product in the U.S.
Upside’s cultivated chicken will be fried in a tempura batter, drizzled with a burnt chili aioli and garnished with edible flowers and greens. Incidentally, this is the first time Bar Crenn is putting meat on its menu since it was removed in 2018, according to the company. The cultivated chicken will be incorporated into additional dishes at the restaurant through a series of ongoing monthly services that will commence later this year.
As seen on TechCrunch
Paul reported on Bluu Seafood’s new €16 million ($17.5 million) Series A round of funding. The German company is creating cultivated fish products and unveiled its first products last August, which included a line of fish sticks and fish balls.
Thriving startups in the alternative protein sector now have a new place to pitch. Venture capital firm Joyful Ventures unveiled its new fund. Joyful was co-founded by Jennifer Stojkovic, Milo Runkle and Blaine Vess. The company has already made two investments from the fund, including New School Foods and Orbillion Bio.
Omeat, a cultivated meat startup out of Los Angeles, believes it has cracked the code on how to reduce the traditionally high costs to scale production of cultivated meat via a process that uses regenerative factors extracted humanely from cow plasma to make growth media.
BetterBrand, a food tech company known for creating “The Better Bagel,” closed on $6 million of Series A capital at a pre-money valuation of $170 million. BetterBrand’s proprietary “grain-changing” technology combines non-GMO and clean label ingredients to create a line of better-for-you baked goods.
Natasha writes about Finnish startup Solar Foods’ alternative protein, Solein, which has been blended into a custom (vegan) chocolate gelato at a restaurant in Singapore. It’s not your average scoop, she says.
Time to make the meat
In April, we ran a commentary focused on whether additional capacity for precision fermentation, which is a method that uses bioreactors to make cultivated meat, is what was really needed to advance the industry and bring costs down.
For those in the camp of more biomanufacturing facilities, Liberation Labs is contributing to that. This week, the company broke ground on its first facility in Indiana that, when fully up and running, will have a capacity to make up to 600,000 liters of bio-based proteins.
Impossible vs. Motif, take 20
During the last roundup, I mentioned the year-old lawsuit between Impossible Foods and Motif FoodWorks became interesting when it was uncovered that Motif suspected Impossible hired some private investigators who allegedly used fake identities to get information on Motif products.
Ultimately a court ruled that this strategy by Impossible did not break any rules, according to the story.
While that was a mark for Impossible, the newest thing to come out is a mark for Motif: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed to review Impossible’s intellectual property related to using heme to create plant-based meat substitutes. More here.
- Boozy funding: Cult Wines raises seed funding.
- Incubation celebration: SVG Ventures|THRIVE and NEC X partner to incubate novel solutions in agrifood.
- Taking it to the media: Media giant SevenVentures invests in Next Gen Foods to promote TiNDLE across Germany.
- Soy, but also pig: Soya beans made more meat-like by adding genes for pig proteins.
- Egg-citing growth: Plantible Foods launches egg replacer made of duckweed that outperforms poultry eggs. While we’re on the topic of eggs, JUST Egg reports 14% YOY retail and food service growth in US. Read more from TechCrunch’s coverage of the company, especially as it relates to the recent hike in traditional egg prices, as well as here and here.
- Dogs eat good: Agronomics investee backed by Pets At Home.
- Sizzling new product: Beyond Meat debuts new ‘Beyond Sausage’.
If you have a juicy tip or lead about happenings in the venture and food tech worlds, you can reach Christine Hall at email@example.com or Signal at 832-862-1051. Anonymity requests will be respected.