Bill Gates and Richard Branson Back Startup That Grows Clean Meat

Cargill Inc., one of the largest worldwide agricultural companies, has joined Bill Gates and other business giants to purchase a nascent technology to make meats from self-producing animal cells among rising consumer demand for proteins that’ s less reliant upon feed, land and water.

Memphis Meats, which creates beef, chicken and duck straight from animal cells without raising plus slaughtering livestock or poultry, elevated $17 million from investors which includes Cargill, Gates and billionaire Richard Branson , according to a statement Tuesday on the San Francisco-based startup’ s website. The fundraising round was led by venture-capital firm DFJ, which has previously supported several social-minded retail startups.

" I’ m thrilled to have invested in Memphis Meats, ” Branson said within an email in response to questions from Bloomberg News. “ I believe that within 30 years or so we will no longer have to kill any animals and that most of meat will either be thoroughly clean or plant-based, taste the same as well as be much healthier for everyone. ”

This is the newest move by an agricultural large to respond to consumers, especially Millennials, who are rapidly leaving their indicate on the U. S. food entire world. That’ s happening through surging demand for organic products, maximizing focus on food that’ s regarded sustainable and greater attention upon animal treatment. Big poultry plus livestock processors have started to undertake alternatives to traditional meat.

“ The world loves to consume meat, and it is core to many of our own cultures and traditions, ” Alguma Valeti, co-founder and chief executive officer associated with Memphis Meats, said in the declaration. “ The way conventional meat is certainly produced today creates challenges for that environment, animal welfare and human being health. These are problems that everyone wants to resolve. ”

‘ Thoroughly clean Meat’

To date, Memphis Meats has raised $22 mil, signaling a commitment to the “ clean-meat movement, ” the company said.

Cargill has “ used an equity position in Memphis Meats’ first series of funding, ” Sonya Roberts, the president associated with growth ventures at Cargill Proteins, said in an email, without revealing the investment amount.

“ Our equity position along with Memphis Meats gives Cargill entrance into the cultured protein market plus allows us to work together to further innovate plus commercialize, ” Roberts said. “ We believe that consumers will still crave meat, and we aim to take it to the table, as sustainably plus cost-effectively as we can. Cultured meat and conventionally produced meats may both play a role in meeting that will demand. ”

The investment is just the most up-to-date by traditional meat companies. Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U. S i9000. meat producer, has created a investment capital fund focused on investing in companies “ to sustainably feed” the world’ s growing population and in Dec announced a stake in use of plant protein producer Beyond Meat , which matters Gates among its early funders.