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Because, Animals Closes Seed Round with Investment from Orkla

The company will scale up production and accelerate development of its first commercial cultured meat pet product.

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Because, Animals, a biotech company growing cultured meat for dogs and cats, has closed its seed stage financing round led by Orkla ASA.

The round brings the startup’s total financing to $6.7 million, with follow-on investment from SOSV, Draper Associates, Keen Growth Capital and others.

With this investment, Because, Animals will scale up production and accelerate development of its first commercial cultured meat pet product, a cat treat. In the near term, the company is also developing a plant and culture-based dog food to add to its current line of treats.

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Orkla ASA is a European supplier of branded consumer goods to the grocery, out-of home, specialized retail, pharmacy and bakery sectors. Because, Animals is Orkla’s first investment in pet food, and the first move by its recently announced Orkla Alternative Proteins division, an umbrella for emerging food technology brands.

“As a company deeply committed to health and sustainability, we see cultured meat as having interesting potential in terms of sustainability, animal welfare, and food safety,” said Elin Tveito Lidman,  CEO of Orkla Alternative Proteins. “Because, Animals’ products and technology are truly differentiated, and stand out as a sustainable, healthy, humane way to feed pets. Their progress in developing cell lines, growth media, and driving down cost is impressive – all vital steps in bringing cultured meat technology to market.”

Shannon Falconer, CEO of Because, Animals, said, “Partnering with a major international food player like Orkla is exactly what we sought to do from the beginning. We were not interested in just any corporate food heavyweight, we needed them to be firm believers in sustainability and the future of food, and we’ve found exactly that combination in Orkla.”

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Because, Animals was co-founded by Falconer and Joshua Errett, who volunteered at the same cat rescue charity. In 2019, the company announced success in creating “the world’s first cultured meat pet food made from cultured mouse tissue, the ancestral diet of the cat.” Since then, the company “has continued to progress on the scientific front by reducing the cost of their cultured meat by well over an order of magnitude, getting closer to commercialization,” according to a press release.

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