Investments & Acquisitions

Clever Carnivore Secures $7M to Expand its “Astoundingly” Low-Cost Cultivated Pork Production

Chicago’s first cultivated meat company, Clever Carnivore, has raised $7 million in seed round funding to expand and scale its operations.

The company has developed a platform to cultivate pork at low costs. Led by former Tyson Foods executive Russell Thomas, VP of product development, Clever Carnivore has created a prototype, the Clever Bratwurst, that it plans to unveil in early 2024.

” (…) we haven’t seen anyone come remotely close to Clever Carnivore’s astoundingly low current cost of production”

The biotech’s expansion plans include relocating its inaugural lab operations in Lincoln Park to a larger nearby facility with a 500 L bioreactor capacity and space for a test kitchen.

“We’ve been tracking and investing across the global cultivated meat sector since the first such company launched eight years ago, and we haven’t seen anyone come remotely close to Clever Carnivore’s astoundingly low current cost of production, a testament to the company’s phenomenal science,” said Nick Cooney, Managing Partner of Lever VC.

A banner displaying the names of clever Carnivore's investors.
© Newfund

Attracting investors

The seed round was oversubscribed, signaling excitement for the company’s innovative approach that promises to deliver cost-competitive, sustainable, and cruelty-free meat.

It was led by the alt protein investor Lever VC, with support from other national and international players, including Valo Ventures (Palo Alto, California), Stray Dog Capital (Kansas); McWin Capital Partners (Spain), Thia Ventures (Belgium and Switzerland); and Newfund Capital (France).

In 2022, the biotech raised $2.1 million in a pre-seed funding round from private investors to cultivate higher volumes of meat at lower costs, aiming to produce $1 burgers.

“Clever Carnivore’s approach blends breakthrough science and a demonstrated cost advantage in the cultivated meat sector,” said Pierre-Jean Cobut, entrepreneur in residence at Newfund.

Clever Carnivore
©Clever Carnvore

Revolutionizing the protein market

Co-founded by Virginia Rangos and Paul Burridge, a professor and cell line researcher, Clever Carnivore harnesses cell biology, recombinant protein product technology, and advanced bioreactor design. 

Furthermore, the company’s scientific team specializes in cell culture media optimization. To lower the cost of cultivated meat and scale its production, the team has improved and adapted a serum-free growth medium to its specific cell lines and platform.

According to the Clever Carnivore, this improvement has lowered the costs of cell culture media “incredibly”: one to two orders of magnitude lower than any other cultivated meat company worldwide.

“This funding is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team and reaffirms the confidence that investors have in our cutting-edge science, technology and business model. With this investment, we are well positioned to revolutionize the protein market and enhance the overall consumer experience,” shared Rangos, who is also the CEO of Clever Carnivore.




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