By Sam Bridge
KBW Ventures was founded by Saudi Arabia's Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a well-known proponent of a vegan lifestyle
KBW Ventures, whose founder is Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a well-known proponent of a vegan lifestyle, has invested in Memphis Meats, a US cell-based meat, poultry and seafood company.
KBW Ventures is one of a number of companies who invested in a $161 million funding round, the largest funding moment in the history of the cell-based meat industry.
It will enable Memphis Meats to reach a historic milestone of bringing its products to consumers. In total, the company has raised more than $180 million, a statement said.
Prince Khaled’s KBW Ventures has also invested in a number of firms focused on plant-based products, including the Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat and Plant Power Fast Food, a San Diego-based company that presents itself as a vegan alternative to McDonald’s.
Additionally, KBW Ventures has tied up with American chef Matthew Kenney to create Folia, a plant-based menu that was launched last year.
Memphis Meats expects to use the funds to build a pilot production facility, continue to grow its team, and to hit a major milestone of launching products into the market.
Based in California, Memphis Meats is developing methods to produce meat directly from animal cells, without the need to breed or slaughter animals.
The Series B round was led by SoftBank Group, Norwest and Temasek. Also joining the round are new and existing investors including Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Threshold Ventures, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Finistere, Future Ventures, Kimbal Musk, Fifty Years, CPT Capital, KBW Ventures and Vulcan Capital.
“We are excited to welcome these investors into our Big Tent,” said Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats. “Memphis Meats is revolutionising how meat is brought to every table around the world. We are providing compelling and delicious choices by producing real meat from animal cells, its natural building blocks. Cell-based meat is poised to dramatically expand humanity’s capacity to feed a growing global population while preserving our culinary traditions and protecting our planet.”