Vow has secured AUD$73M in a Series A raise as it closes a record-breaking funding round for the cultivated meat industry.
The funding will assure Vow’s plans to roll out its ‘Morsel’ product into markets around the globe, with its plans to launch in Singapore by the end of the year whilst eyeing the Australian and US markets for 2023.
Vow has grown rapidly over the past three years, securing AUD$7.7M seed funding in 2021 and opening its first factory in Sydney this October. Vow co-founder and CEO George Peppou said the biggest driver for going after this round of funding was to develop scaling and manufacturing capabilities .
“Before the round, we had an underlying product and customers who were interested,” he said.
“We had built Factory 1 and had everything in place going into the regulatory process in Singapore, Australia and the U.S. however, there was way more demand than supply. If we could raise a large Series A, we could introduce Morsel to multiple markets and prove out the big view on what the food looks like.”
Vow’s first product to market, Morsel, is cultivated from Japanese umai quail and promoted as a ‘new type of meat’. It has flavours of roasted umami with aromatic seafood notes, which the company says makes consuming their cultivated quail “a more unique experience” to conventional meat. This alternative path to developing cultivated meats other than the most commonly produced conventional meats is what Vow believes has helped its rapid growth.
“Because we’re not trying to replicate animals, a lot of constraints are removed. We don’t have to make chicken, beef, or pork cells work. We can just look for cells that are easy to culture and are also really tasty and nutritious,” said Peppou.
‘We’re thrilled to be toe to toe with the best companies in this space, moving at speed to reach huge milestones with a fraction of the capital of other companies,” he added.
The Series A was co-led by Blackbird and Prosperity7 Ventures, joined by Toyota Ventures, Square Peg Capital, Grok Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, Peakbridge, Tenacious Ventures, HostPlus Super, NGS Super and Pavilion Capital.
“Vow represents the height of ambition – using robotics, data and biology – to make more delicious food than we do today,” said Blackbird Partner Samantha Wong.
“Having known the founders pre-company, we have been incredibly impressed with the rate of progress and the quality of hires in the last couple of years. We are proud to be leading Vow’s Series A round, helping to unlock the next phase of growth that will transform the food industry as we know it today.”
With the new capital, Vow also plans to continue future product development and expand hiring in new divisions including Product and Marketing. It anticipates the company’s production team will grow from four to 15-20 in the coming months with the overall workforce reaching 80 by the middle of next year.
Vow also revealed plans to begin the development of its second factory with a capacity that is “100x larger” than its first according to Peppou.
Cultivated meat plays a growing role as an alternative protein source to feed the growing global population, which just reached eight million in November 2022 according to the UN’s estimations. As Australia’s first cultivated meat company, Vow’s continued success indicates strong potential for the rest of the region.
READ MORE: Vow’s first cultured meat product close to Singapore unveiling after $49.2M Series A [Tech Crunch]
Vow breaks record with $49.2m Series A raise [Future Alternative]