Recent data released by Pitchbook shows that Israel is emerging as a hotbed of innovation for cultivated meat. This news comes following several significant announcements over the past year from startups in the region.
In an analysis published about cultivated meat startups, Pitchbook researchers revealed that nearly a quarter of the near $1.95 billion VC dollars invested in cultivated meat throughout 2021 went to Israeli companies. The report also noted that while 2022 investments (to date) have not followed the same trend, this year has marked several commercial productivity milestones for these startups.
This includes the first cultivated meat production factory opening in Israel in 2021, and the first restaurant focused on these products, “The Chicken,” opened by SDC portfolio company SuperMeat in Tel Aviv. SuperMeat has since signed an agreement with Switzerland’s largest supermarket and meat manufacturer, Migros, to develop European infrastructure to produce, distribute and sell cultivated meat on a broad commercial scale.
Other startups in the region are working to address the affordability of cultivated end-products, with some claiming they have developed methods to achieve this.
The national government has also gone all in on cultivated meat. In 2022 the world’s largest cultivated meat consortium was approved for formation by the Israeli Innovation Authority and granted $18 million in funding. This consortium is a three-year project to progress developments in cultivated meat production and was initiated by GFI Israel and the Tnuva Group, Israel’s largest food manufacturer.
Startups in this region are also committing to utilizing environmentally friendly practices to produce their cultivated products. Like SDC portfolio company Aleph Farms which recently joined the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate Initiative as an “Innovation Sprint Partner.” As part of the initiative, Aleph Farms will invest $40 million into R&D for cellular agriculture over the next five years.
Innovations like these are occurring rapidly in Israel, and it is theorized that the region will continue to be a leader in cultivated meat.