The London-based foodtech start-up is at proof-of-concept stage and seeks to build customer partnerships
Cell-based fat start-up Hoxton Farms has raised £2.7 million in a seed funding that included Silicon Valey venture capital fund Founders Fund. Backed, Presight Capital, CPT Capital, Sustainable Food Ventures, and angel investors also participated in the round.
With a business-to-business model, the company is developing a technology for growing purified animal fat in cultivators.
Synthetic biologist Max Jamilly and mathematician Ed Steele co-founded Hoxton Farms last year, tapping into a white space opportunity in the alternative meat category – availability of animal-free fat for alternative protein products.
Today’s plant-based and cultured meat makers use plant oils as a fat replacement to achieve the distinctive meat flavour of the animal product, but the ingredient doesn’t tick all the boxes – some oils are not sustainable, such as coconut and palm oil, and most are short on flavour.
“We combine cell biology and mathematical modelling to make a better kind of fat. Starting from just a few cells, we grow purified animal fat in bioreactors to produce a delicious, cruelty-free and sustainable ingredient,” the start-up says on its website.
The entrepreneurial duo is still at an R&D stage and hopes to be able to create purified fat that is not only cost-effective but also superior on the nutritional profile – all thanks to its computational approach.
The cultured fat category is in its infancy, but with enormous potential alongside the growth of alternative protein products.
Hoxton Farms is against a handful of competitors, including US-based Mission Barns and Peace of Meat, the Belgium cultured fat maker acquired by 3D-printed food producer MeaTech.
With the cash injection, Hoxton Farms will begin work on its new research and development lab, and recruit a team of biologists and mathematicians.
Hoxton Farms said the funding will support the development of a proof of concept production platform and build customer partnerships.
Date published: 10 February 2021