Future Meat Technologies, a start-up that makes cell-cultured meat, raised $14 million in its Series A funding to build a production plant.  Cell-cultured meat is made by using stem cells from the fat or muscle of an animal.

Future Meat Technologies, which was founded in 2018 and based in Israel, is trying to do for lab-grown meat what Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have done for plant-based meat.

S2G, a Chicago-based venture capital fund that invests in food and agriculture, and Emerald Technology Ventures, a Swiss-based firm, led the $14 million round, Future Meat announced this week.

“What we think separates Future Meat is that they have an actual plan to get to commercially viable price points that does not require massive capital expenditures or future breakthroughs,” S2G managing  director Matt Walker said in an interview.

Future Meat plans to use the proceeds to expand research and development efforts and build a cell-cultured meat manufacturing facility to begin production this year.

Cell-cultured meat is made by putting stem cells from the fat or muscle of an animal into a culture medium that feeds the cells, allowing them to grow.  The media is then put into a bioreactor to support the cells’ growth

By 2021, Future Meat is planning on selling hybrid products that use lab-grown fat and plant protein.  As meatless burgers have landed at Burger King and Carl’s Jr., dozens of start-ups are racing to be the first to sell beef grown in a lab.

Future Meat is far from the only company that has set out to create affordable cell-cultured meat.  Several dozen start-ups, mostly in the United States and Europe, have sprung up in the last couple of years to develop the product.   However, only one, Memphis Meats, has raised more money that Future Meat in a Series A funding round–$17 million in 2017, thanks to investments from Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Cargill.