SAN FRANCISCO — Mission Barns, a Silicon Valley-based cellular agriculture company, raised $24 million in a Series A funding round. The company will use the funds to scale up its cultivated fat technology and build a pilot manufacturing plant in the San Francisco Bay area.
Founded in 2018, Mission Barns takes a handful of pork, poultry or beef cells and feeds them a plant-based feedstock inside a cultivator. The novel process creates real animal fat that delivers the mouthfeel and flavor of meat without raising and slaughtering live animals.
The first commercial application of Mission Fat is in plant-based meat. The cultivated fat may be used to help overcome hurdles preventing consumers from regularly purchasing plant-based meat products, including flavor, mouthfeel and meatiness, said Eitan Fischer, chief executive officer.
“Time and again, we see that the addition of Mission Fat to plant proteins makes alternative meat products in any number of categories far outperform the incumbent plant-based options,” Mr. Fischer said.
The company has developed products incorporating its cultivated fat in various categories both on its own and through collaboration with meat companies and plant protein partners. Applications include bacon, breakfast patties, nuggets, dumplings, hot dogs, poultry sausages, meatballs and more.
The Series A round was led by Lever VC, Gullspang Re:Food, Humboldt Fund, Green Monday Ventures and Enfini Ventures. Blue Ledge Capital, Prithvi Ventures, Joyance Partners and existing investors Global Founders Capital, Point Nine Capital, Better Ventures and Cantos Ventures also participated in the round.
“I've been sampling plant-based meats for 20 years from a huge variety of brands globally and have never tasted anything as meat-like as products containing Mission Fat,” said Nick Cooney, managing partner of Lever VC. “This is going to be a game-changer for the alternative meat sector, because it's going to help brands around the world have a dramatically better product almost overnight.”