Estonia-based Gelatex raises €1.2m for cell-cultured meat technology

Gelatex Technologies, an Estonia-based producer of nanofiber materials, has secured €1.2 million in a seed round for developing cell-cultured meat.

The seed round was led by Change Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund based in the Baltic states, and Crosslight Partners, Swedish growth investor focused on innovative firms in the food and agriculture industries.

Gelatex Technologies claims to have discovered a solution to increase and improve its production capacity of nanofibrous materials that can be used to grow cells-cultured meat. With its material scientists and business development professionals, the Estonian start-up is said to have identified an opportunity to make use of multi-purpose, inexpensive, and simple nanofibrous 3D scaffolding to make cells-cultured meat.

According to Gelatex Technologies, the scalable scaffold is essential to manufacture cell-cultured meat to provide the meat structure. Without it, the meat will be a mushy pate, said the Estonian firm.

Estonia-based Gelatex raises €1.2m for cell-cultured meat technology

Gelatex Founders: Märt-Erik Martens and Mari-Ann Meigo-Fonseca – Author: Siiri Kumari. Photo courtesy of Gelatex.

Gelatex Technologies added that hydrogel and electrospun, which are currently the most used solutions for enabling cell-cultured tissues cost 90% more than what the company can accomplish by using its nanofibrous 3D scaffolding technology.

If the widely used manufacturing methods continue to be used the way they are, then meat grown in labs will only be accessible to the wealthiest businesses as well as individuals, claimed Gelatex Technologies.

However, by 2040, the production of cultured meat is projected to account to 35% of the world’s meat production. Furthermore, the demand for meat will only grow in the emerging Asian markets, added Gelatex Technologies.

Märt-Erik Martens — CEO of Gelatex Technologies said: “We are running multiple pilot projects with 8 out of 10 world’s leading cultured meat producers. We have run enough tests to know that our cheaper nanofibrous materials can make a true difference in the texture of cell-cultured meat.

“Currently, one kilogram of scaffolding material costs about 100 000 euros. Today, because of our technology, we are able to produce nanofibrous scaffolds at a price less than 1000 €/kg easily. If we stay true to our ambitions and keep scaling our technology, it will cost only 40 euros in less than 5 years.”

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