Mushrooms remain an important area of ​​alternative protein. Canada’s Maia Farms recently raised $1.7 million to develop a blend of mushroom and plant proteins using biomass fermentation. There are also MyForest Foods and Fable Foods.

Then there’s Meati Foods, which the company claims is unlike other protein alternatives. The company uses mycelium or mushroom roots to make schnitzel and steaks.

“It’s truly the next generation of revolutionary protein,” CEO Phil Graves told TechCrunch. “It’s a product that’s rooted in nature. It’s not genetically modified. We just take something from nature, channel it, give it the nutrients and minerals it needs to thrive. Then, within four or five days, we get equivalent to the protein of hundreds of cows.”

Perhaps that’s why Meati continues to receive significant funding.

Meati Foods, Mushroom Roots, Alternative Proteins

Carne Asada steak products from Meati Foods. (Image source: Meati Foods)

On Wednesday, the Boulder, Colorado-based company announced an additional $100 million in Series C-1 funding. Existing investor Grosvenor Food & AgTech led the round, with participation from other existing investors including Prelude Ventures, BOND, Revolution Growth and Congruent. Grosvenor is a large food and agriculture investment firm that has previously invested in companies such as AgriWebb and The Every Co.

Meati Foods has raised a significant amount of venture capital over the past two years, and this round adds to that amount. The initial $150 million was announced in July 2022, with the round raising an additional $22 million in January 2023, culminating in a Series C round of over $200 million later in 2023.

Much of the company’s investment is in its 100,000-square-foot “mega-ranch” facility, which enables Meati to produce tens of millions of pounds of protein annually.

However, all is not well for the company. The new funding comes three months after Meati Foods laid off 13% of its workforce. At the same time, company co-founder Tyler Huggins resigned as CEO to become chief innovation officer. That’s when Graves, then the company’s chief financial officer, took the helm.

Following the latest funding round, Huggins, who co-founded the company with Justin Whiteley, will take on an advisory role.

In addition to the funding, Meati Foods is adding 2,000 retail locations selling its products, which will be added to Kroger’s line of stores by April. The Eat Meati range will offer three products, including Classic Steak as well as Classic Steak and Carne Asada Steak.

In just over a year, the company has grown from six retail locations to nearly 7,000 stores nationwide. Also available at Super Target, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Meijer and Wegmans.

The company is usually quiet about its growth, and this time is no different. Graves did say the giant ranch facility is fully operational. Last year, Huggins told TechCrunch that at full capacity, the plant could produce 45 million pounds of product per year.

“Capital basically drives the growth trajectory,” Graves said. “We will continue to grow at a high pace. We are excited that despite all the headwinds, our growth is continuing steadily. Our investors understand this, too. The product is best in class and the growth is there There. We need to align capital with the business to keep the momentum going.”

As part of the new investment, Mark Cupta from Prelude Ventures and Katrin Burt from Grosvenor Food & AgTech have joined the company as new board members.

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