French startup Gourmey has raised Series A funding led by Earlybird Venture Capital. In total, the company banked $48 million (€48 million). The company is working on processed meats and especially sweat-cured foie gras. It is part of a new wave of companies looking to turn cell-derived meat products into mainstream products.
Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Morin-Dun told me: “Most of the financing is equity, but it also includes a small amount of non-funding, especially from public institutions like Bpifrance. Gourmey is not disclosing the company’s valuation.”
Other investors in today’s round include Kin Venture Partners, Omnes Capital, Discovery, Thia Ventures, Instacart CEO Fidji Simo and some existing investors such as Heartcore Capital, Point Nine Capital, Air Street Capital, Partech and Beyond Investing.
Gourmey grows the cells in bioreactors with the right ingredients at the right temperature so it becomes artificial foie gras or – as they call it – slaughter-free foie gras.
Of course, there is a lot of stigma associated with foie gras. Many people refuse to eat foie gras because of animal cruelty. In general, meat has a significant impact on climate change.
With today’s funding, the startup wants to move from research and development to commercialization. But you won’t find Gourmey products in supermarkets yet.
“Our produced foie gras is market-ready and has already convinced several French and international Michelin-starred chefs, restaurateurs and high-quality butchers,” says Morin-Forest.
To fulfill the orders at scale, the company is going to create a 37,000 square foot innovation and manufacturing center – that’s about 3,400 square meters. It should be up and running within the next 18 to 24 months.
There are 120 engineers, chefs and operators who work there and produce tens of thousands of pounds of meat.
“Similarly, we are working hand-in-hand with food safety authorities and agencies in several geographies such as Singapore, the US, the UK and the EU to obtain regulatory approval and safely market our product.” Forest said.
Today’s news comes a few weeks after Standing Ovation raised $12 million to use animal-free keznin for cheese. Meatable recently unveiled its synthetic sausages. In other words, processed meat is quickly becoming a competitive industry.
Sooner or later those companies will start competing with each other after sharing their product portfolio. “We continue to work on expanding our portfolio of high-quality, sustainable meat products in poultry but also other species and we have a number of exciting announcements coming up,” Morin-Forest said.