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Tyson Foods Invests In ‘Cultured Meat’ Startup Memphis Meats

Memphis Meats' Southern Fried Chicken.
Memphis Meats' Southern Fried Chicken.

“Clean meat” or “cultured meat” company Memphis Meats, which focuses on producing real meat directly from animal cells, without the need to raise or process animals, has received an investment from the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods Inc. Tyson Foods joins a number of other investors in Memphis Meats, including DFJ, Atomico, Cargill, Bill Gates and Richard Branson. The terms of the investment were not disclosed.

“We are excited that Tyson Foods will be joining us in our mission to bring meat to the table in a sustainable, affordable and delicious way,” said Uma Valeti, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats. “Our vision is for the world to eat what it loves, in a way that addresses today’s challenges for the environment, animal welfare and public health. We are accelerating our work and building out a world-class team to make this a reality.”

Tyson says this investment is an example of the company’s commitment to explore innovative, new ways of meeting global demand for protein.

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“We’re excited about this opportunity to broaden our exposure to innovative, new ways of producing meat, especially since global protein demand has been increasing at a steady rate,” said Justin Whitmore, EVP of corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer at Tyson Foods. “We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices.”

“We are thrilled that Tyson Foods has joined the investor coalition of Memphis Meats,” said Heidi Roizen, partner at DFJ. “Memphis Meats is a critically important company to the future of food, and their mission to produce meat in an innovative and sustainable way is incredibly compelling to us as both investors and as lovers of animals. We are delighted to be a part of their amazing journey.”

Memphis Meats expects to use the funds to accelerate product development. The company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is currently recruiting to expand its team of chefs, scientists, creative people and business people.

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