San Francisco-based Eat Just, Inc., a sustainable foods company that became the first in the world to get regulatory approval for commercialising cultivated meat, has announced that it has secured $200 million in a new round of funding. The investment is led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar; joined by private investment firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
The food tech startup has raised more than $650 million since its founding in 2011, and with this round of funding, it will add QIA and Charlesbank to its Board of Directors. BofA Securities, Inc., acted as lead placement agent and ABG, LLC, advised on the investment that will be used to build capacity for Eat Just’s pioneering products; accelerate research and development programs and build its brands in key international markets.
Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, said in a press statement, “We are very excited to work with our investors to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system. Their knowledge and experience partnering with companies that are transforming numerous industries were fundamental in our decision to partner with them.”
Eat Just’s plant-based egg brand has soared in popularity in the US, with more than 20,000 retail points of distribution and 1,000 foodservice locations. The company is working towards making its egg in refrigerated and frozen formats accessible to more consumers around the globe. As per Eat Just, it has sold the plant-based equivalent of 100 million eggs and one million U.S. households have made ‘JUST Egg ‘number one in loyalty within branded eggs.
Earlier this year, Dicos, one of China’s leading fast-food chains, added JUST Egg to its menu marking the first time a major quick service restaurant swapped an animal-based product with a plant-based one across multiple regular menu offerings. Eat Just also announced a partnership to manufacture JUST Egg Sous Vide products as part of an agreement with Cuisine Solutions, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of sous vide foods.
In March, Peet’s Coffee partnered with Eat Just on the nationwide launch of a new JUST Egg sandwich featuring all plant-based ingredients. Canada also became the latest country in JUST Egg’s expansion with news that its folded product would be stocked in more than 1,000 grocery stores by April and would be widely available to restaurants and other foodservice operators.
Eat Just also celebrated another important milestone in late 2020 by securing the first-in-the-world regulatory approval for meat created directly from animal cells for human consumption. Its ‘GOOD Meat’ cultivated chicken was served and sold to guests for the first time at a restaurant.
Over the coming months, the company plans to “dramatically reduce cultured meat production costs, scale commercial manufacturing operations, and advance its work on other types of meat.”