Israeli startup Redefine Meat, a maker of 3D-printed plant-based meat products, has pulled in a new investment of $135 million to fund production lines in Israel and the Netherlands, as well as expand its partnerships with restaurants and eateries worldwide.
Globes first reported the funding round early Monday, led by New York- and Tel Aviv-based venture capital fund Hanaco Ventures, which also recently invested in Israeli developer of animal-free milk and dairy Remilk, a developer of animal-free milk and dairy, and Synthesis Capital, a UK-based fund focused on food tech.
The fresh investment brings Redefine Meat’s total capital raised to approximately $180 million to date, and follows a trend in recent months of large single investments of over $100 million in Israeli food tech companies.
In addition to Remilk, which raised $120 million earlier this month, Future Meat, a Rehovot-based biotechnology firm that creates chicken, lamb, and beef products made from animal cells, raised $347 million in December as part of a Series B funding round, the largest single investment in a cultured meat company to date. Last July, Israeli cultivated meat startup Aleph Farms received a $105 million investment, including by US actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, to bring lab-grown steaks to market.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) Israel, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote research and innovation in the field, recently released a report that noted Israeli food tech companies in the cultivated meat sector drew some 40 percent of investments worldwide in 2021
Israel is currently home to over 400 companies in food tech, a broad field that includes nutrition, packaging, food safety, processing systems, novel ingredients, and alternative proteins. The latter comprises plant-based substitutes for meat, dairy, and egg; cultured dairy, meat and seafood; insect proteins; and fermentation products and processes.
Redefine Meat is a leading startup in the plant-based meat sub-sector, which also includes standouts like SavorEat, also a maker of plant-based meat using 3D technology (or additive manufacturing technology), and newcomer Plantish, an Israeli startup that recently unveiled a plant-based whole-cut salmon fillet.
In Israel, dishes with Redefine Meat’s products are sold in some 200 restaurants and establishments, according to the company, including Coffee Bar and Hotel Montefiore in Tel Aviv.
Founded by entrepreneurs Eshchar Ben-Shitrit and Adam Lahav, Redefine Meat (formerly JetEat) produced its first 3D-printed plant-based steak in 2018. The company says its patented industrial-scale digital manufacturing technology manages to fully replicate the muscle structure of beef. The products, made of a mix of pea protein, soy, beetroot, chickpeas, and coconut fat, are high in protein, have no cholesterol, and look, cook, feel and taste like the real deal, according to the startup.
Redefine Meat uses 3D printers and “ink” to “print” the steaks. The firm aims to sell the printers and the cartridges to meat distributors worldwide, who will both print and distribute the meat once produced. The “ink” is made of plant-based ingredients like legumes and grains, to create the muscle texture of the alternative meat; it also contains fats from the plants, to mimic the beef fat, and natural flavors and colors, to mimic the blood factor in meat and its juiciness.
The company’s range of products, called New Meat, now includes whole cuts, burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, and ground beef, as the startup has said it hopes to become “the world’s largest meat company by offering every single cut that a cow does.”
In November, Redefine Meat announced that its products would be made available at select high-end restaurants in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands including at Michelin-starred eateries.
“We’ve achieved a level of superiority in taste and texture that surprised even some of the most recognized chefs in the world, and our unique technological capabilities enable us to replace every part of the cow for the first time,” Ben-Shitrit said at the time.
The global meat substitute market is expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2026, according to data firm Allied Market Research, as consumers seek to cut their meat intake for health, animal welfare, and environmental purposes.
Firms that have made headlines in the plant-based sector include the Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat Inc, a Nasdaq-traded producer of plant-based meat substitutes whose products simulate chicken, beef and pork sausage, and are available at most grocery stores in the US and at restaurant chains.
Another firm is Impossible Foods Inc., a California company that selects proteins and nutrients from plants to recreate the experience and nutrition of meat products. The firm launched the Impossible Burger in 2016, available in grocery stores in the US; its plant-based sausage product is available at Starbucks in the US.
Shoshanna Solomon contributed to this report