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Aiming to not just outperform meat but replace it, Australian cultured meat company, Vow, has banked US$6 million of fresh funding.
In 2019, Vow became the world’s first company to make a food product from the cells of an undomesticated animal, instead of the animal itself.
The company has since grown its library to 11 different animals, both standard and exotic fare, and plated six of them in a world-first product demonstration in partnership with renowned chef, Neil Perry.
A new culture
Vow makes meat from the cells of animals to create food products. Instead of using animals, the company leverages standard livestock cells such as pork and chicken, and the cells of new and less conventional animals like kangaroo, alpaca, and water buffalo. It takes just six weeks to take a handful of cells and plate a finished meal without killing an animal, and with a fraction of the carbon footprint of traditional livestock raising.
With the first cultured meat products being approved for sale in Singapore in December, this latest raise cements the cultured meat industry’s validity and positions.
“There’s no doubt that cultured meat is becoming available and will soon be mainstream, as evident earlier this month with the world’s first cultured meat product approved for sale in Singapore,” said George Peppou, Vow’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
“This is about so much more than an alternative to animal agriculture; it’s about a category of products totally distinct from, and better than what animals are capable of producing.”
Vow’s co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Tim Noakesmith, adds: “We believe that the only way to change the behaviour of billions of people is to make many products that are simply better than what we have today.”
A tasty recipe
Non-traditional meat products have often been accused of being unpalatable, but Vow staked a claim as a gourmet brand with its first product, a Kangaroo Dumpling. And a partnership with Neil Perry hasn’t hurt its culinary credentials.
“The work Vow is doing is awesome,” says Neil. “Blending deep technology with the culinary world opens a new creative era in food and does so in a way that’s sustainable for future generations.”
“This latest round of investment allows us to focus on the culinary opportunity and make food that really excites people,” explains Tim. “It’s a bonus to know that these are the same foods that will allow us to live in harmony with our planet and move away from the climate emergency associated with our current food systems.”
Global food markets are evolving
Vow’s latest round of funding is an acknowledgement that some of the world’s most savvy investors are recognising that global food markets are on the precipice of radical change.
Square Peg Capital leads The Series Seed round. Also joining the round are existing investors Blackbird Ventures, Grok Ventures (the investment office of Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes), and new investors Tenacious Ventures.
“In Vow, we found a team with the most audacious vision for the future of food,” says James Tynan, of Square Peg Capital. “They’re tackling one of the biggest problems on the planet and have delivered results with less than 1 per cent of the resources of its competitors.”
“We feel incredibly lucky to have some of the world’s best tech investors joining us on our journey,” adds George. “It’s a vote of confidence in our ability as a team, as well as the huge potential of the cultured meat market.”