Startups Cultured meat startup Prolific Machines unveils its 'Henry Ford...

Cultured meat startup Prolific Machines unveils its ‘Henry Ford approach’ to cell growth •


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The global cultured meat market is poised to reach half a billion dollars by 2030; however, this kind of technology is still in the R&D stage for many companies that have emerged over the past five years.

Cultured meat, also known as cultured meat, is animal meat, but instead of slaughtering the animal to get it, cells from the animal are collected and grown in a lab where they are then assembled into a tissue structure that resembles the same meat we use. all eat.

We’ve seen a few lab-grown meat companies unveil their products. For example, Novel Farms has a pork loin, while Bluu Seafood, a German company that develops lab-grown seafood, launched its fish fingers and fish balls last month. The same goes for the Netherlands-based Meatable with its sausages, SCiFi Foods with its burgers and chicken for UPSIDE Foods.

However, the production process for cultured meat has historically been “both very difficult and very expensive”. productive machinesco-founder and CEO Deniz Kent told That’s what his company wants to change.

“You have to use these growth media proteins, which are some of the most expensive things — one of the proteins we’re replacing is about 30,000 times more expensive than a gram of gold,” he added. “It’s very difficult to scale anything for this reason, because you have to use these proteins.”

Kent, who has expertise in stem cell biology, explains that these proteins have been used for decades, primarily in the biopharmaceutical industry. The technology works on pharmaceuticals with big budgets, but not so well if you’re trying to make a high-volume, low-margin product like meat, he added.

While he had the idea for better proteins, he met physicist Max Huisman and machine learning engineer Declan Jones and convinced them to quit their jobs and form Prolific Machines with him in 2020.

That said, Prolific Machines believes it has a unique production approach for cultured meat cells and is coming out of stealth mode with $42 million in combined seed and Series A funding to build what Kent calls a “biology assembly line.”

The company wants to do the same for biology as Henry Ford did for cars at the beginning of the 20th century. His technology, which is still in its early stages, is a way to grow and control cells without the need for one of those expensive recombinant proteins for cell production, he said. Prolific Machines will market products, but will also license its infrastructure to other cultured meat companies.

“Back then, no one really had cars, except super-rich people. What really changed things was Ford,” said Kent. “They built the car assembly line and found a way to produce cars at a price normal people could afford. That transformed the industry, because then you went from hundreds of car companies to just three companies with over 70% of the market .”

He believes the same will happen in the cultured meat industry: there are currently hundreds of companies, but “most of them will die because they don’t have a way to produce cultured meat cheaply enough. Those who can find a way will survive,” he added.

Prolific Machines was part of SOSV’s IndieBio program in 2021. SOSV led the Prolific Machines pre-seed round. Meanwhile, for his new capital infusion, the seed round portion was led by Arvind Gupta, partner at Mayfield, and the Series A by Bill Gates—founded by Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

“It was never my intention to invest in another cultured meat company, but when Deniz showed me what they were doing, I was blown away by the creativity in their approach to reinventing the food production assembly line,” Gupta said in a statement. a written statement. “My goal is to help reverse climate change by working with incredible teams, and I am confident that Prolific Machines will be a winner in the race for sustainable food production.”

The two rounds featured a group of venture capital firms and individual investors, including David Adelman, Mark Cuban, The Kraft Family, David Rubenstein, Michael Rubin, Breyer Capital, The SALT Fund, Purple Orange Ventures, Fred Blackford, Jake Poliskin, Matt Katz and Baruch Future Ventures. Add to that a group of celebrities and restaurateurs, including Kevin Love, Tobias Harris, Meek Mill, Ciara and Russell Wilson, Emily Ratajkowski, Maverick Carter, Sean Feeney, Michael Schulson, Mark Bucher and RJ Melman.

Kent said the Series A was picked up a year ago, but the company is now coming out of stealth as it prepares to pick up a pretty hefty “$170 million-esque” Series B in the first quarter of 2023. The new funding will go toward building a 25,000-square-foot headquarters in Emeryville, California, and recruiting staff to expand its assembly-line programs, including fish, poultry and beef.

Meanwhile, he expects the facility to be ready in the spring of 2023. Plans for the company’s first product include an unstructured Wagyu, meaning ground meat. Prolific Machines also has a number of high-profile chefs — none that Kent could name now — who have agreed to partner with the company and use its first cultured meat products.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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