Edmonton, Alberta-based Future Fields, a biotechnology company focused on the cellular agriculture industry, has raised C$2.2 million in seed-stage financing. Bee Partners led the round, with participation from Pioneer Fund, Narrative Fund and Y Combinator.
EDMONTON, Alberta – WEBWIRE – Thursday, February 25, 2021
Future Fields, the company bringing mass-market cost and scale to cellular meat, today announces $2.2M in seed funding, led by Bee Partners with participation from Pioneer Fund, Narrative Fund, and previous investor Y Combinator. The company is also announcing the shipment of its first product – a proprietary version of the FGF2 growth factor protein – to cellular meat producers.
The most important – and most expensive – component of cellular meat is growth factor protein that signals cells when and how to grow. Past generations of cellular meat used fetal bovine serum (FBS) harvested from slaughterhouses or growth factors produced by microbes. Both approaches are expensive and difficult to scale for mass-market products and keep cellular meat hovering around $50 per pound compared to the average of less than $6 per pound for steak in the U.S.
Future Fields’ novel platform produces the bioactive growth factors at a large scale and low cost that unleash cellular meat as a competitive mass-market product. FGF2 is the company’s first commercial product shipping to producers of various cell-based meat products with growth factors tailored to specific cell types soon to follow.
“One of the critical problems facing cellular agriculture is the lack of high-quality, customized growth media at a cost and scale that can support mass-market production,” explains Lejjy Gafour, CEO and co-founder. “The shipment of our proprietary FGF2 shows that our novel platform provides a real-world solution to that problem and unleashes the full potential of cellular agriculture.”
High-Quality, Low Environmental-Impact Protein
A growing global population is expected to increase the need for food by 70 to 100 percent by 2050. Meanwhile, climate change and environmental impacts from industrial farming continue to raise grave concerns about the world’s ability to meet that need. Cellular agriculture is one of several new approaches to creating high-quality protein with less impact on land, water, and other environmental resources.
Cellular agriculture uses cells or microorganisms to create agricultural products, such as milk or meat. It is an interdisciplinary field utilizing breakthroughs in genetics, tissue engineering, synthetic biology, and medicine. Applying the principles of biology, scientists can engineer cells to create new products that are indistinguishable from traditional agriculture products – all without the use of animals, livestock, or farmland.
About Future Fields
Future Fields is unleashing cellular agriculture by creating custom growth media – the most important component of cellular agriculture – that is cost-effective, scalable, and optimized for the future of food. The company was founded in 2018 by CEO Lejjy Gafour, COO Jalene Anderson-Baron, and Chief Scientific Officer Matt Anderson-Baron. Future Fields is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, and is backed by marquee venture capitalists including Bee Partners and Y Combinator. For information, visit: futurefields.io.