Lab-grown meat startup receives US$17m funding from Bill Gates, Richard Branson

Memphis Meats aims to deliver edible lab-produced meat by 2020.

A lab-grown meat startup has recently been getting the support of big backers. As of the latest, Memphis Meats has received a total of US$17m investments from business magnates Bill Gates and Richard Branson.

Memphis Meats is a San Francisco, California-based startup aiming to offer to the market a lab-grown meat to ditch the arduous process to raise animals. The venture is said to be possible by growing animal cells in the laboratory.

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Now that the company has received huge funding, it is expected to deliver its first products by the year 2020. Gates and Branson are just two of its known investors. Global corporation Cargill is also part of the US$17m funding round.

DFJ Venture Capital, known backer for Tesla and SpaceX, partners with Memphis Meat to materialise the said endeavour. DFJ Venture Capital partner Steve Jurvetson underscores the efficiency of this new method of meat production compared to today's farming technologies.

"Rather than a meat substitute, they will sell real meat, without harming any animals", says Jurvetson. "No methane production, inefficient feedstock conversion, wasted land, fertilisers, antibiotics, or excess water use".

Jurvetson adds: "The product goal is to do this at a much lower cost than current animal harvesting and with better taste, nutritional value, and environmental benefit. They produce duck, chicken and beef today, and should be able to produce all meats by the same methods".

So far, Memphis Meats has already secured a total of US$22m funding.