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European startup develops world’s first plant-based meatless steak, snaps £3.4M

Juicy Marbles founders
Image credits: Juicy Marbles

Alternative meat is taking the world by storm with multiple companies working on products that are better for the environment. While names such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are well known in this segment, a new entrant has now forayed in this market with a unique offering. Provider of premium plant-based steaks, Juicy Marbles, has announced raising a notable £3.4 million in its seed funding round.

Bringing Plant-based filet mignon to market

The latest funding round for Juicy Marbles was led by the World Fund. Agfunder and angel investors from YCombinator and Fitbit participated in the round as well. This funding will be utilised by the company to bring its plant-based filet mignon product to market. With this, it aims to become the first alternative whole cut protein in the world. Soon after, it plans to expand into new product ranges and new regions. 

Juicy Marbles was founded in 2020 by Tilen Travnik, Luka Sinček, Maj Hrovat and Vladimir Mićković. In an exclusive conversation with TFN, we learn more about how the company works and what are their plans for the future. Luka Sinček tells us about their timeline on when they will be bringing the plant-based filet mignon to the market. Vladimir says, “We are going to use the funding to scale production to commercial capacities and hopefully launch in retail in Europe and the US.” 

Alongside expansion and new product ranges, the startup will use new funding to scale its production, grow the team, hire industry leaders, strengthen its R&D and perfect its product. 

An alternative to whole cut meats

There are currently many plant-based alternative meats available in the market. What separates Juicy Marbles from the rest is their premium offering, which is neither grown in a lab nor 3D printed. The startup uses its own 3D assembly technology to create the premium marbled ‘A5 grade’ cuts of plant-based steak. Their product is touted to have a high-level marbling effect that meat eaters prefer. 

This funding round will enable the company to bring its product to market. “We’re aiming to launch our steaks in the market in Q1 2022 and they will be at price parity with a filet mignon immediately, though we hope to bring this price down within two to three years,” Luka notes. 

Speaking on their upcoming product ranges, Vladimir notes that the company is looking to develop some new soya-based products. These will focus mainly on plant-based beef alternatives as they hold the most potential to reduce emission impact from food and agriculture industries. There are some other concepts in the work, which Juicy Marbles says it will share later. 

Why the premium market?

While most alternative meat providers are focussing on relatively inexpensive products, Juicy Marbles has decided to go the other way. This was mostly as premium cuts are touted to be one of the plant-based industry’s biggest challenges. The complex texture and intricate fat systems or marbling are difficult to replicate. This is where Juicy Marbles comes in. 

“What was important to us is that the process does not damage the nutritional profile of the product, ensuring customers get a wholesome, nutritious piece of meat with all the proteins, vitamins and minerals intact. We’re delighted we’ve been able to achieve this with our filet mignon and can’t wait to enable people across the world to enjoy this delicious plant-based steak,” Maj Hrovat, co-founder and CTO at Juicy Marbles, concludes.

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