Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., invested in food tech startup Memphis Meats, a San Francisco-based leader in cultured meat produced directly from animal cells. The investment is an example of Tyson Foods’ commitment to explore innovative, new ways of meeting growing global demand for protein.
Tyson Foods’ investment represents a minority stake in the business, and joins a diverse group of investors, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and investor and philanthropist Richard Branson.
“We’re excited about this opportunity to broaden our exposure to innovative, new ways of producing meat, especially since global protein demand has been increasing at a steady rate,” says Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices.”
“We are excited that Tyson Foods will be joining us in our mission to bring meat to the table in a sustainable, affordable and delicious way,” adds Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats. “Our vision is for the world to eat what it loves, in a way that addresses today’s challenges for the environment, animal welfare and public health. We are accelerating our work and building out a world-class team to make this a reality.”
Memphis Meats expects to use the funds to accelerate product development. The company is currently recruiting to expand its team of chefs, scientists, creative people and business people.