UPSIDE Foods (previously Memphis Meats) announces a $400 million Series C round which included returning investors Cargill, Tyson Foods, and Bill Gates. UPSIDE says this is the largest round in the industry to date and brings its valuation to over $1 billion, thus achieving Unicorn status.
“UPSIDE has reached an historic inflection point, moving from R&D to commercialization”
The news closely follows Upside’s acquisition of Culture Decadence, producer of cultivated lobster. Pending regulatory approval, which is slated to take place in 2022, UPSIDE Foods says it intends to initially launch on the US market.
The fresh funds will be utilised to expedite commercialisation, build a commercial-scale facility with a planned annual capacity of tens of millions of pounds of cultivated meat, and develop the supply chain for ACF Cell Feed – a cell media that the company says is 100% animal component-free. The new production facility will have capabilities to “produce any species of meat in both ground and whole cut formats” and will initially focus on chicken meat.
“UPSIDE has reached an historic inflection point, moving from R&D to commercialization,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods.
He added, “Our team at UPSIDE continues to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in our mission to make our favorite food a force for good. Working in partnership with our world-class coalition of investors, we’re excited to bring delicious, sustainable and humane meat to the consumers around the world.”
Interesting list of investors
The Series C round was co-led by Temasek and the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG). New investors include Baillie Gifford, Givaudan, John Doerr, SALT fund, and Synthesis Capital, joined by existing investors Bill Gates, Cargill, Cercano Management, CPT Capital, Dentsu Ventures, Singapore-based global investor EDBI, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest Venture Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, SOSV’s Indie Bio, and Tyson Foods.
“We’re excited to support this next chapter of UPSIDE Foods’ growth,” said Brian Sikes, COO of Cargill. “Our continued support for UPSIDE’s innovative work underscores Cargill’s commitment to an inclusive approach to wholesome, sustainable protein that will meet customer and consumer needs now and in the future.”