Jun 9, 2023 - Economy

Lab-grown bacon startup Uncommon raises $30 million

Bacon cooking

A British startup called Uncommon is seeking to create lab-grown bacon, and just raised $30 million to further its efforts.

Why it matters: Venture capitalists continue to plug big money into cultivated meat startups, even though the products themselves remain illegal in every country but Singapore.

  • The U.S. FDA last fall completed its first pre-market consultation of cultivated food, focused on poultry developed by VC-backed "unicorn" Upside Foods.
  • It found the product to be safe for human consumption, and found similarly for a subsequent startup, but there still are numerous steps before it could hit store shelves, including a full USDA inspection.

Other challenges: As TechCrunch notes, cultivated meat startups face scaling challenges, as well as regulatory ones. Uncommon is seeking to utilize an mRNA-type technique that enables "cells to make proteins from its own internal functions."

Deal details: Balderton Capital and Lowercarbon Capital co-led the $30 million Series A round, and were joined by Redalpine, East Alpha and OpenAI founder Sam Altman and his brother Max.

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