Future Meat Technologies, an Israel-based start-up specialising in lab-grown meat, has raised US$14m in a Series A funding round.

The investment in the Jerusalem-based business was led by S2G Ventures, a Chicago-based venture capital firm which was involved with US plant-based burger innovator Beyond Meat’s IPO, and Emerald Technology Ventures, a Swiss-based venture capital business.

They were joined by investors Henry Soesanto, CEO of Philippines-based food and beverages group Monde Nissin, Manta Ray Ventures, a UK-based venture capital firm, and Bits x Bites, a Chinese food and agri-tech VC.

Founded in 2018, Future Meat Technologies is amongst the companies pioneering the production of meat directly from animal cells. It wants to build “the world’s first cultured meat pilot production facility”, estimated to begin operations in 2020, south of Tel Aviv.

Rom Kshuk, CEO of Future Meat Technologies, said: “With this investment, we’re thrilled to bring cultured meat from the lab to the factory floor and begin working with our industrial partners to bring our product to market.

“We’re not only developing a global network of investors and advisors with expertise across the meat and ingredient supply chains, but also providing the company with sufficient runway to achieve commercially viable production costs within the next two years.”

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With current small-scale production costs of $150 per pound of chicken and $200 per pound of beef, Future Meat Technologies said it plans to release hybrid products at a “competitive cost level” from its pilot production facility by 2021, and launch a second line of 100% cultured-meat products at a cost of less than $10 per pound by 2022.

Matthew Walker, managing director at S2G Ventures, said: “Future Meat Technologies’ innovative approach offers a differentiated and exciting path forward in the development of cultured meat.

“The Future Meat team has developed a technology platform and roadmap that offers the cleanest and most efficient means of cell-based meat production, both in terms of capital expenditure and cost per pound, that we’ve seen to date.”

An earlier funding round, led by US meat giant Tyson Foods via its Tyson Ventures arm, saw $2.2m invested in Future Meat Technologies in May 2018.