Earlier final month, we featured Mooji Meats, noting the food tech startup’s plans to raise a $2.5 million seed deliberate to speed up its 3D printing know-how. Seems the Baltimore-based agency obtained all that and extra.
At present the Y Combinator grad is asserting $3 million raised in a spherical that includes The Good Startup, Collaborative Fund, Lever VC and AgFunder. The Good Startup and Collaborative Fund have a eager curiosity within the class, with previous investments in Not possible and Past, respectively.
These different startups, by the way, are names Mooji has been eying for its additive manufacturing course of, which extrudes different meats at scale. Most of those firms focus on plant-based meats that mimic floor beef or sausage. Mooji’s tech is designed to imitate entire cuts of meat. Who desires imitation burger when you may eat an imitation steak? The corporate notes that 70% of the meat market revolves round entire cuts — a stark distinction to what different different meats supply.
“For those who go to meals tech conferences, it’s the primary subject everybody talks about. It’s actually necessary to create actual meat cuts for the trade,” says Mohr. “On the one hand, there’s 3D printing. They create actually good, genuine mouthfeels, however it’s simply too costly. Alternatively, there’s cheaper applied sciences corresponding to conventional extrusion, electrospinning and so forth, which is actually low-cost, inexpensive and scalable. Nevertheless the textures don’t rating properly when clients strive it.”
Leveraging applied sciences developed by Harvard SEAS (the place co-founder Jochen Mueller did his postdoc), the corporate is working to supply a system that may carry out the method shortly, inexpensively and at scale. Particularly, the corporate cites its use of a brand new printing know-how (developed by the aforementioned Harvard crew), which can print with hundreds of nozzles concurrently, versus lots of the present applied sciences that solely use one.
As for the brand new funding? “One-third goes to rising our lab,” CEO Insa Mohr, tells TechCrunch. “We nonetheless want extra tools. One-third goes into hiring. We employed seven engineers, a mixture of meals scientists and engineers, together with 3D printing engineers. And one other third goes towards conventional overhead.”
Mooji believes this can unlock the corporate’s means to print at a scale similar to extra conventional applied sciences. It’s nonetheless pretty early levels, nonetheless, with plans to develop the primary prototype (that being the meat, not the printer) throughout the subsequent six months. In the meantime, it’s hoping to carry its printers to market within the subsequent yr and a half.
Mooji says it already has shoppers lined up, although it will possibly’t identify any names simply but. The checklist contains one or two “market leaders” in Europe and one within the U.S.