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Meati planning to raise Series D in early 2024

The interior of Meati's recently opened Colorado-based production facility.

Photo: Courtesy of Meati

Meati Foods plans to raise a Series D in early 2024 similar in size to its $172 million Series C round, CEO Tyler Huggins tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: While makers of plant-based meat alternatives have experienced growing pains, the global market for their products is expected to quadruple over the next decade.

Details: The Series D could also include debt given eager lenders, Huggins says.

  • To supplement (or as an alternative to) the Series D, the company could partner with a strategic to expand production capacity, seek out government project financing, or pursue an IPO, Huggins says.

By the numbers: Boulder, Colorad0-based Meati has raised more than $250 million to date.

  • It will generate some tens of millions in revenue this year after piloting its products in Sprouts last year and then launching in all that chain's locations two months ago, Huggins says.

Catch up fast: Early this year, Meati raised a $22 million extension to the $150 million Series C round it announced last year.

The latest: Meati offers three products — classic medium rare steak, classic chicken cutlet, and crispy breaded chicken cutlet.

  • It is sold in grocery chain Sprouts and food service partners including PLNT Burger, as well as fried chicken sandwich chain Birdcall, salad chain Crisp & Green and all Momofuku restaurant locations.

What's next: Meati is about to launch a product in deli sandwich chain Cutlets in New York City, Huggins says.

  • And it will expand from Sprouts to other retailers, to about 7,000 retail locations by year-end, he says.

How it works: Meati produces tens of millions of pounds of mycelium, a root-like structure of a fungus that is the raw material from which the company's products are made.

  • Mycelium is naturally rich in protein and fiber so using it requires less food processing to transform it into meat-like substitutes.
  • To keep up with demand, Meati opened an industrial-scale production facility in Colorado, financed by its Series C.

Yes, but: More facilities will need to be built to continue to fulfill demand, Huggins says.

Between the lines: "Our challenge is scale. We want to be the top player in the category. We want to get this into the hands of millions of people. And to do that requires scale, it requires us to build out the infrastructure. It's not easy," Huggins says.

  • That scale is the equivalent of hundreds of millions of pounds up to a billion pounds of mycelium per year, he says.
  • "We have a workstream on how to expand capacity," Huggins says, with massive infrastructure expansion likely to come in 2025.
  • The company basically uses sugar to make the mycelium, a process that creates a product that is cost-competitive and profitable, he adds.
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