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Meati Foods took a bite out of an additional $100 million amid growth to 7,000 retail locations

Mushrooms are still a big area for alternative proteins. Canada-based Maia Farms recently raised $1.7 million for the development of a mixture of fungi and vegetable proteins using biomass fermentation. There is also MyForest Foods and Fable Food.

Then there is Meat food, which claims to be unlike any other protein alternative. The company produces cutlets and steaks from mushroom mycelium, i.e. mushroom roots.

«It’s truly a revolutionary next-generation protein,» CEO Phil Graves told TechCrunch. «It is a product that is rooted in nature. It is not genetically modified. We just take something from nature, direct it, give it the nutrients and minerals it needs to flourish. Then we get hundreds of cows’ worth of protein in four or five days.»

Perhaps this is why Meati continues to secure large amounts of funding.

Meat food, mushroom root, alternative proteins

Meati Foods Carne Asada Steaks product. (Image credit: Meati Foods)

On Wednesday, the Boulder, Colo.-based company announced an additional $100 million in a C-1 round. Existing investor Grosvenor Food & AgTech led the round and was joined by other existing investors including Prelude Ventures, BOND, Revolution Growth and Congruent. Grosvenor is a large company that invests in food and agriculture, and has previously supported companies such as AgriWeb and Each Co.

This large round adds to the significant amount of venture capital that Meati Foods has raised over the past two years. Initials 150 million dollars was announced in July 2022, and that round included another one 22 million dollars in January 2023 before finally closing a $200+ million Series C later in 2023.

Much of the company’s investment has gone into the 100,000-square-foot “Mega Ranch” facility that allows Meati to produce tens of millions of pounds of its protein annually.

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However, not everything was rosy for the company. This new funding comes three months after Meati Foods fired 13% of its employees. At the same time, company co-founder Tyler Huggins stepped down as CEO and moved into the role of chief innovation officer. Then Graves, then the company’s CFO, took the helm.

Following this latest round, Huggins, who founded the company with Justin Whiteley, will move into an advisory role.

With the funding, Meati Foods is adding 2,000 retail locations that carry its products and will now be in Kroger’s family of stores through April. Three products will be available in the Eat Meati line, including the Classic chop and the Classic and Carne Asada steaks.

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

The company is usually pretty tight-lipped about its growth, and this time was no different. Graves said the Mega Ranch facility is fully operational. Last year, Huggins told TechCrunch that at full capacity, the facility would be able to produce 45 million pounds of product annually.

«The capital basically accelerates that growth trajectory,» Graves said. «We will continue with the breakneck pace of growth. We are delighted that despite all the obstacles, our growth is still going fast. And our investors understand that. The product is best in class and there is growth. We need to match capital with business to continue the momentum.”

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

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