Venture Capital

Upside Foods Shows Potential With $400 Million Series C

BERKELEY — UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats), a company in the cultivated meat, poultry, and seafood industry, has closed a $400 million Series C funding round, the largest round in the industry to date. This new raise places the company’s valuation at over $1 billion. Pending regulatory review, UPSIDE Foods hopes to be available to consumers in the U.S. later this year.

UPSIDE Foods will use the funds to build a commercial production facility with a planned annual capacity of tens of millions of pounds of cultivated meat products. The facility will be able to produce any species of meat in both ground and whole cut formats, with an initial focus on chicken. Additionally, the funds will help build a robust supply chain for critical cell feed components that will reduce costs and enable greater scale. Other priorities for UPSIDE Foods include enhancing consumer education, investing in research and development for the next generation of cultivated meat products, and continuing to grow its 170+ person team.

“UPSIDE has reached an historic inflection point, moving from R&D to commercialization,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods. “Our team at UPSIDE continues to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in our mission to make our favorite food a force for good. Working in partnership with our world-class coalition of investors, we’re excited to bring delicious, sustainable and humane meat to the consumers around the world.”

The Series C round is co-led by Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore, and the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), a new investor. Other new investors include Baillie Gifford, Givaudan, John Doerr, SALT fund, and Synthesis Capital. They are joined by existing investors Bill Gates, Cargill, Cercano Management, CPT Capital, Dentsu Ventures, Singapore-based global investor EDBI, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest Venture Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, SOSV’s Indie Bio, and Tyson Foods.

“We’re excited to support this next chapter of UPSIDE Foods’ growth,” said Brian Sikes, COO of Cargill. “Our continued support for UPSIDE’s innovative work underscores Cargill’s commitment to an inclusive approach to wholesome, sustainable protein that will meet customer and consumer needs now and in the future.”

“Our approach is to identify and hold transformational growth companies with the potential to disrupt industries,” said Chris Evdaimon from Baillie Gifford’s Private Companies Team. “Cultivated meat is well on its way to becoming a large-scale industry. And UPSIDE Foods is a frontrunner in developing ways to both make and market the product. We believe it’s a great long-term investment that will help the environment, animal welfare and the food system as a whole.”

“As early supporters, we have been continually impressed to witness UPSIDE’s consistent, and industry-leading, technical and commercial progress since their founding in 2015, ” said Rosie Wardle, Co-Founder and Partner, Synthesis Capital. “The company’s recent achievements have validated their position as the leading company in this sector. We are excited to continue backing and supporting UPSIDE to the next stage of commercial scale production, and to changing the food system for the better.”

Since UPSIDE Foods announced its Series B in early 2020, the company has been at the forefront of the industry, driving product innovation, partnerships and scale. In the last year alone, it has rebranded from Memphis Meats to UPSIDE Foods, welcomed Whole Foods CEO John Mackey as an investor, announced chicken as its first consumer product, partnered with three-Michelin starred chef Dominique Crenn, developed a cell feed that’s completely free of animal components, acquired cultivated seafood company Cultured Decadence, built and opened its Engineering, Production and Innovation Center (EPIC), the most advanced production facility and innovation center for cultivated meat in the world, and recently hosted its first public tour of EPIC as part of a broader effort to educate consumers about cultivated meat and UPSIDE Foods’ mission and production process.