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Cultimate Foods gobbles €2.3M to enhance flavour of plant-based meat

Cultimate Foods team
Picture credits: Cultimate Foods

The alternative meat industry is rapidly gaining traction worldwide, as numerous companies strive to develop environmentally-friendly products. While Beyond Meat is a familiar name in this sector, new players like Planted and Heura Foods are emerging as dominant players in the European market.

Yet another startup that is emerging in this sector is Cultimate Foods, a biotech startup based in Berlin’s Biocube and Hannover (Institut für Technische Chemie, Leibniz Universität Hannover). In a recent development, the German startup has secured €2.3 million in seed funding. 

The investment round was led by High-Tech Gründerfonds, one of Europe’s leading seed investors, which invested recently in ATMOS Space Cargo and Proxima Fusion. It was joined by the Life Science Valley Wachstumsfonds, b.value AG, and Kale United alongside the foodtech investor Big Idea Ventures. 

Cultimate Foods will use the investment to scale up production processes and expand commercial collaborations and operations. 

Hybrid meat alternatives

Founded by Eugenia Sagué, Oskar Latyshev, and George Zhelezny in 2022, Cultimate Foods sees a future in the hybrid meat substitutes industry. It started in Göttingen at the Life Science Factory, where it conducted research after a pre-seed round. It is developing a breakthrough ingredient based on cell-grown fatty tissue that will be used to create hybrid meat products.

It uses state-of-the-art cell culture technologies to produce animal cell-cultivated fat without the use of animals. The cell-cultivated fat will be sold as a B2B ingredient to manufacturers of alternative meat, enhancing the taste and juiciness of Cultimate Foods’ products.

How is it different from others?

While there are lots of plant-based meat products available on supermarket shelves, taste remains the top consumer barrier to the adoption of these sustainable alternatives. Cultimate Foods is supplying cell-cultivated premium fat ingredients to the alternative meat industry to tackle this problem. The company already runs several commercial pilots with the food industry leaders.

Unlike other fat alternatives, this company creates a unique lipid composition of the fat delivering authentic pork and beef flavour.

“Science is the key to addressing many of the problems caused by the food industry. Through innovative technology, we can deliver the meaty flavors consumers crave while simultaneously cutting down on unethical intensive animal farming and tackling climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. Follow your passion and make the world a better place!,” said Eugenia Sagué, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cultimate Foods.

“In a short time, Cultimate Foods was able to achieve significant milestones, establish strong ties with the foodtech industry, and co-operations with universities. HTGF is excited to tap into a new investment vertical and support Cultimate Foods in revolutionizing the alternative meat industry with its cell-cultivated fat ingredient. In the food industry we have the chance to create a real impact,“ said Tilmann Petersen, Investment Manager at HTGF. 

Caroline Mak, Senior Director at Big Idea Ventures, commented: “As one of the most active investors in the agrifood-tech space, we view fat innovation as essential for enhancing the taste, health profile, sustainability, and scalability of sustainable foods. And as early pre-seed investors in Cultimate who have seen the team grow from strength to strength, we are excited to continue to support Cultimate in this successful seed round for the launch of their innovative fat ingredient.”

“Closing the seed round in today’s fundraising environment validates the achievements of our technological approach and the efforts of our team. With a consortium of experienced Biotech and Foodtech funds on board, we look forward to benefiting from both areas of expertise when scaling up to the next TRL and entering our first markets,” added George Zheleznyi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cultimate Foods.

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