Mooji is 3D printing plant-based meat – TechCrunch

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Earlier final month, we featured Mooji Meats, noting the meals tech startup’s plans to lift a $2.5 million seed deliberate to speed up its 3D printing know-how. Seems the Baltimore-based agency obtained all that and extra.

At the moment the Y Combinator grad is saying $3 million raised in a spherical that includes The Good Startup, Collaborative Fund, Lever VC and AgFunder. The Good Startup and Collaborative Fund have a eager curiosity within the class with previous investments in Unattainable and Past, respectively.

“One-third goes to growing our lab,” CEO, Insa Mohr, tells TechCrunch. “We nonetheless want extra gear. One-third goes into hiring. We employed seven engineers, a mixture of meals scientists and engineers, together with 3D printing engineers. And one other third goes towards conventional overhead.”

These, by the way, are names Mooji has been eying for its additive manufacturing course of, which extrudes different meats at scale. Most of those firms concentrate on plant-based meats that mimic floor beef or sausage. Mooji’s tech is designed to imitate complete cuts of meat. Who desires imitation burger when you may eat an imitation steak? The corporate notes that 70% of the meat market revolves round complete cuts — a staunch distinction to what different meats provide.

Picture Credit: Mooji Meats

“In case you go to meals tech conferences, it’s the primary matter everybody talks about. It’s actually necessary to create actual meat cuts for the business,” says Mohr. “On the one hand, there’s 3D printing. They create actually good, genuine mouthfeels, but it surely’s simply too costly. Then again, there’s cheaper applied sciences comparable to conventional extrusion, electrospinning and so forth, which is absolutely low-cost, inexpensive and scalable. Nevertheless the textures don’t rating effectively when prospects attempt it.”

Leveraging applied sciences developed by Harvard SEAS (the place co-founder Jochen Mueller did his postdoc), the corporate is working to supply a system that may carry out the method shortly, inexpensively and at scale. Particularly, the corporate cites its use of a brand new printing know-how (developed by the aforementioned Harvard group), which may print with a whole bunch of nozzles concurrently, versus most of the present applied sciences that solely use this.

Mooji believes this can unlock the corporate’s skill to print at a scale akin to extra conventional applied sciences. It’s nonetheless pretty early phases, nevertheless, with plans to develop the primary prototype (that being the meat, not the printer) throughout the subsequent six months. In the meantime, it’s hoping to deliver its printers to market within the subsequent 12 months and a half.

Muji says it already has shoppers lined up, although it might’t title any names simply but. The listing contains one two “market leaders” in Europe and one within the U.S.

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