SoftBank, Cargill, Tyson Foods, Dentsu and Givaudan invested in the cellular meat producer’s series C round, as it prepares to move to the commercialisation phase.

US-based cultivated meat producer Upside Foods completed a $400m series C round yesterday backed by multiple corporates yesterday at a valuation of over $1bn.

Internet and telecommunication group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, agribusiness Cargill, meat producer Tyson Foods, marketing firm Dentsu and flavour and fragrance ingredients producer Givaudan all took part in the round, which was co-led by Temasek and Abu Dhabi Growth Fund.

Baillie Gifford, Cercano Management, CPT Capital, Synthesis Capital, Salt Fund, EDBI, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and SOSV’s Indie Bio fund filled out the participants alongside private investors John Doerr, Bill Gates and Kimbal and Christina Musk.

Founded in 2015 as Memphis Meats, Upside cultivates meat from real animal cells, providing real meat without killing animals. Cultivated meat of this kind has been prohibitively expensive so far but those costs are set to decrease as it transitions to a commercial phase.

Upside will use the capital to build a new production facility capable of producing tens of millions of pounds of cultivated meat in both minced and whole-cut formats. It will also grow its team and marketing efforts, boost research and development and develop its supply chain for cell feed components.

SoftBank, NVP and Temasek co-led the company’s $161m series B round in early 2020, investing with Cargill, Tyson Foods, Fifty Years, CPT Capital, Threshold Ventures, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Kimbal Musk.

Cargill also took part in a $17m Threshold Ventures-led series A round for Upside in 2017 that also featured Atomico, Richard Branson and Bill Gates. It had raised $2.8m in seed funding from SOSV and New Crop Capital the previous year.

Upside CEO Uma Valeti said: “Upside has reached an historic inflexion point, moving from R&D to commercialisation. Our team at Upside continues to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in our mission to make our favourite food a force for good.

!Working in partnership with our world-class coalition of investors, we are excited to bring delicious, sustainable and humane meat to the consumers around the world.”

Image courtesy of Upside Foods.