Plant-based meat maker raises $6.1 million

BOULDER — Emergy Inc., a plant-based meat producer, has moved from Chicago to Boulder after raising $6.1 million in equity funding and federal grants.

The company, which was founded as part of a venture with the Argonne National Laboratory in Lakewood, said it raised $4.8 million in seed money, with San Francisco-based Congruent Ventures taking the largest stake, according to a press release Tuesday. Emergent also received $1.3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Emergy began the fundraising round in April and was based in Chicago, according to the company’s last filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Emergy CEO Tyler Huggins and chief technology officer Justin Whiteley both earned engineering doctorates from the University of Colorado Boulder.

In a phone interview, Huggins said the company is creating processes to mimic the texture and taste of whole-muscle cuts of meat from solely plant-based material, such as chicken breast or steak, instead of the ground alternatives that current plant-based protein heavyweights are producing.

Huggins said Emergy has a proprietary technology that can ferment ingredients into the final product with a shorter ingredient list and less processing than current options on the market.

“We see that with a lot of these other meat alternatives is the ingredient list is pretty long and highly processed, and that’s what we’re finding consumers are not being satisfied,” he said.

Huggins also said Emergy’s products are made of ingredients that require less land to produce at scale than peas, the main ingredient in plant-based burgers, but he declined to give more specifics about those ingredients or the production process.

The plant-based meat industry, which argues its products are more environmentally sustainable than raising livestock, has found some mainstream traction in the past few years. Burger King and White Castle both unveiled menu items featuring plant-based patties, and Beyond Meat Inc. stock (Nasdaq: BYND) currently holds a market capitalization of over $10.4 billion.

At the moment, Emergy has a 5,000-square-foot production plant that can make samples for visitors. Huggins said the company is working on scaling the process so it can start selling in the foodservice segment sometime in 2020, with the goal of bringing a branded product to sale at supermarkets.

 

BOULDER — Emergy Inc., a plant-based meat producer, has moved from Chicago to Boulder after raising $6.1 million in equity funding and federal grants.

The company, which was founded as part of a venture with the Argonne National Laboratory in Lakewood, said it raised $4.8 million in seed money, with San Francisco-based Congruent Ventures taking the largest stake, according to a press release Tuesday. Emergent also received $1.3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Emergy began the fundraising round in April and was based in Chicago, according to the company’s last filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Emergy CEO Tyler Huggins and chief technology officer Justin Whiteley both earned engineering doctorates from the University of Colorado Boulder.

In a phone interview, Huggins said the company is creating processes to mimic the texture and taste of whole-muscle cuts of meat from solely plant-based material, such as chicken breast or steak, instead of the ground alternatives that current plant-based protein heavyweights are producing.

Huggins said Emergy has a proprietary technology that can ferment ingredients into the final product with a shorter ingredient list and less processing than current options on the market.

“We see that with a lot of these other meat alternatives is the ingredient list is pretty long and highly processed, and that’s what we’re finding consumers are not being satisfied,” he said.

Huggins also said Emergy’s products are made of ingredients that require less land to produce at scale than peas, the main ingredient in plant-based…