Cell-based meat production startup Vow Foods has raised $7.7m (US$6m) in a seed round led by Square Peg Capital, alongside Blackbird Ventures, Grok Ventures and new investor Tenacious Ventures.
James Tynan from Square Peg will join Vow’s board.
The cellular agtech startup, based in Western Sydney, began with lab-grown meat from pork and kangaroo cells in 2019. It’s since produced meat from the cells of 11 different animals, with continued focus on more esoteric meats from feral animals such as rabbit, mice, goat and water buffalo, and even alpaca.
The global race to produce lab meat has been underway since Dutch startup Mosa Meat produced a $400,000 beef burger in a petri dish in 2013. California-based startup, Memphis Meats, has set itself a deadline of 2021 for retail lab meat production.
Brisbane startup Heuros is also working on producing meat from animal stem cells
Vow has a food design studio and laboratory in Sydney and grown its team from five to 22 people in less than a year.
Vow was co-founded by former Cochlear design lead Tim Noakesmith and George Peppou.
Peppou, Vow’s CEO said that with Singapore approving the sale of cultured meat products, the sector is set to grow.
“This latest round of investment allows us to focus on the culinary opportunity and make food that really excites people,” he said.
Annie Cannon-Brookes from Grok Ventures said she hoped consumers would trust and love Vow’s unique products.
“We need innovative solutions like cultured meat production in order to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050, without using more land or increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Australia has so much potential in this space,” she said.