Meala FoodTech has announced the closing of US$1.9m in pre-seed investment. The round was led by The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, part of The Strauss-Group and DSM Venturing (the corporate venture arm of the Dutch multinational Royal DSM); with participation of Milk & Honey Ventures, specialising in alt-protein investments. DSM Venturing’s contribution marks its third investment in the Israeli foodTech ecosystem in 2022.
While the plant-based category continues to gain momentum, alt-protein food formulators still struggle to improve the labels and mouthfeel of their products to match traditional, animal-based counterparts. Currently, popular meat alternatives such as veggie burgers and sausages, typically contain a long list of ingredients, some with complex chemical names unfamiliar to consumers.
Meala’s proteins improve the texture of meat alternatives to better mimic the organoleptic qualities of real meat and deliver a more full-bodied flavour. Meala’s platform creates functional proteins designed to be used as binding and gelling agents with their water retention capabilities. The platform enables formulators to boost meat analogues with better nutritional value and functional properties using a short list of ingredients as in real meat.
“We are excited to complete this investment round with the support of leading investors,” noted Hadar Razmovich, CEO and Meala co-founder. “This achievement reflects the investors’ trust in our technology and R&D team of experts. “There is a significant need in the plant-based industry to effectively reduce undesirable ingredients and clean up labels. This investment will help us get closer and faster to the market, better address the companies’ specific needs and provide affordable, smarter solutions.”
“It is exciting to support Meala on this important mission to improve plant-based foods, making them tastier, more nutritious, and with readily recognisable ingredients,” expressed Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen FoodTech Hub. “This is another milestone in our quest to nourish a better tomorrow, and we are honored to have a leading entity such as DSM Venturing co-invest with us in such a promising company.”
The new funding will initially go toward continuing the development of the company’s platform technology and accelerate from lab to pilot scale. The start-up’s core technology enables the development of functional proteins for multiple meat replacements, including burgers, sausages, nuggets with egg and fish alternatives in development.
“This investment will enable us to accelerate our growth and support plant-based producers in their mission to reach new consumer segments,” stated Dr Tali Feldman Sivan PhD, co-founder of Meala. “We already initiated collaborations with leading plant-based CPG manufacturers to implement Meala’s solution in their products. We are on track to launch products in the US and European markets in 2024.”
Meala’s solution can be integrated into CPG products through existing manufacturing lines.