Umiami, a French startup specializing in the production of plant-based meat and fish, today announces it has secured 1.5 million euros to finance its pilot production unit in France. According to the company, the manufacturing process developed by Umiami offers a novel alternative to the extrusion technique used by almost all plant-based meat producers today.
“Until now, there was no technology available to create thick and fibrous pieces of meat”
The raise, which saw participation from Newfund, Kima Ventures and business angels Laurent Cardinali (ex-Mondelez) and Jérémy Rocher (Yves Rocher), is completed by a debt financing of 800,000 euros, including 500,000 euros provided by Bpifrance. The objective of the fundraising is to develop the pilot production site, which should start in early 2022 in the Paris region with a capacity of 100 tons per year.
The fresh capital will also allow Umiami to continue its R&D efforts to expand its product range. Umiami’s plant-based chicken nuggets Umiami’s plant-based chicken breast Winner of the Nutrition Lab Umiami is one of the five winning startups of the first edition of the Nutrition Lab, in December 2020, a program developed jointly by the Elior Group and Prevent2Care Lab, an accelerator for startups and associations in the field of health prevention.
Umiami was officially launched in May 2020 with the support of AgroParisTech and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) by a trio of young graduates – Tristan Maurel (Centrale Paris-Essec, CEO), Martin Habfast (HEC-TUM, Sales Director) and Hugo Dupuis (AgroParisTech, Technical Director).
The startup’s first product range includes chicken breasts, cod and nuggets: “Until now, there was no technology available to create thick and fibrous pieces of meat. This explains why the choice was limited to small or minced pieces of meat. With our process, we can control both the thickness and direction of the fibers in thick, whole piece-like products. This allows us to create a wide variety of plant-based meats and fish,” explains Tristan Maurel.
Augustin Sayer, Investment Director at Newfund said: “We were impressed by the quality of Umiami’s team and the speed with which they developed innovative processes that could produce a qualitative leap in the production of plant-based substitutes for meat products. Newfund is pleased to help this young company seize the opportunity that the development of this market represents.”