Sydney-based cultured meat company Vow has raised US$49.2 million (A$73.5 million) in Series A funding.
The raise was led by local VC Blackbird and Prosperity 7 Ventures, with support from Toyota Ventures, Square Peg, Grok, Cavalio, Peakbridge, Tenacious Ventures, HostPlus Super LP, NGS Super and Pavilion Capital.
It is a record for a Series A increase in the cultured meat industry, with the startup is working on a more sustainable replacement for livestock farming.
Vow previously raised $7.7 million in a launch round in January 2021.
The first product designed by Vow will be available for tasting in restaurants in Singapore under the Morsel brand by the end of the year, and the company is working towards regulatory approval for its product here in Australia and the US.
The capital is earmarked for future product development, production expansion with a second factory and the acquisition of new divisions.
CEO and co-founder George Peppou said they intended to change the way proteins are produced.
“By inventing new meats that are tastier, more nutritious and perform functions that traditional meats can’t, we can make a huge impact,” he said.
“We are thrilled to be face-to-face with the best companies in this space, moving at high speed to achieve massive milestones with a fraction of the capital of other companies.”
The financing marks an important milestone for Vow as it expands its manufacturing facilities by
Blackbird partner Samantha Wong said Vow is “the pinnacle of ambition” using robotics, data and biology to make more food than we do now.
“Having known the founders before the company, we are incredibly impressed with the speed of progress and the quality of hires over the past few years,” she said.
“We are proud to lead Vow’s Series A round and help unlock the next phase of growth that will transform the food industry as we know it.”
Local VCs Blackbird and Square Peg supported Vow from the pre-seed and seed rounds.
Prosperity7 Ventures is a $1 billion Saudi Arabian venture capital fund through energy company Aramco.
Executive Managing Director Aysar Tayeb said cell cultured meat will be a critical development for the future food supply.
“Every choice Vow has made in its approach is thoughtfully aimed at accelerating the adoption and commercialization of cell-cultured proteins, including the deep application of technology and expanding the box to include thousands of cell lines to optimize taste, nutrition, and cell growth and accelerate costs. down,” he said.
“We are excited to be part of Vow’s pioneering journey to transform the way food is made.”
Toyota Ventures MD Jim Adler said Vow’s cultured meat will unlock the next generation of alternative proteins.
“Vow has the potential to meet the food needs of a growing global population while reducing the impact of food production on the environment,” he said.