This Techstars-backed startup says it can make cultured meat production 90% cheaper

When it comes to the future of meat, plants are still winning the race. Plant-based substitutes for meat are everywhere, even McDonald’s.

The dream of mass producing meat grown in a lab — where only the cells needed from an animal is needed to create meat — is still far away given challenges like costs and regulation.

Enter Gelatex, an Estonian materials startup which says it can cut the cost of producing cultured meat by “up to 90%”. It’s not creating the meat itself, but selling scaffolds — sheets made from nanofibrous materials like soy protein, which provide the structural support for cell growth — to other firms to use to create their own meat.

The five-year-old company, which joined the Techstars accelerator in 2019, announced today that it has bagged $1.2m in seed investment from European VC firms Change Ventures and Crosslight Partners.

Gelatex’s nanofibrous scaffold
A roll of Gelatex’s nanofibrous scaffold. Cells are inserted into a sheet of scaffold top begin the growing process