World News

Lab-grown meat producer Memphis Meats raises $161 million in funding led by SoftBank

(Reuters) – Lab-grown meat producer Memphis Meats said on Wednesday it raised $161 million in a funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank Group <9984.T>, Singapore’s wealth fund Temasek Holdings and Norwest Venture Partners.

The company said the latest round took total funding to over $180 million and drew investment from new and existing investors such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson and meat producer Tyson Foods <TSN.N>.

The company did not disclose the valuation at which the funding was made.

Memphis Meats makes its products from animal cells in labs, differing from companies like Beyond Meat <BYND.O> and Impossible Foods, which develop their meat alternatives from plant-based proteins.

Berkley, California-based Memphis Meats said it would use the funds to build a pilot production facility and launch new products.

Plant-based meat and other meat alternatives are soaring in popularity, with millennials and Gen Z consumers increasingly shunning beef, poultry and pork for environmental and health reasons.

Beyond Meat shares have risen five-fold from their May IPO price and the company has benefited from partnering with Subway and McDonald’s <MCD.N>. Rival Impossible Foods has tied up with Burger King <QSR.TO> and White Castle.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)