Juicy Marbles gets $4.5M to sizzle up plant-based steaks

If that doesn't sound too oxymoronic, the Slovenian startup Juicy Marbles has come up with a way to make plant-based whole meat cuts.

The pitch for the product is that it will provide a vegan alternative to eating a filet mignon steak.

The startup is raising $4.5 million in seed money to get its first piece of prime plant meat to market, which is slated for a Q1 2022.

It says this type of cut is the best example of its proprietary technology. The cut is considered the crown jewel of meat steaks.

There is little competition at the premium end of the fake meat market, so going big and bold is one way to stand out.

The filet mignon is the crown jewel of the steak world, and it showcases our best technology, before we move onto other whole-cuts.

We want to be known for our filets, rumps, andwagyus, not just the most expensive cuts long-term. Our view is that we want to make filet mignon more affordable and accessible, given the different economics of it being plant-based.

What are you going to eat if you bite into a filet of meat? The startup believes that soy is both healthy and sustainable.

If all of our meat was plant-based, all the negative effects of soy farming would disappear, it suggests.

Soya can be eaten in many different ways, from fresh to dried, plain, sprouted, ground, ferment, as a sauce, in soup, as a dessert or a drink, and, thus, by being, as noted by Juicy Marbles.

There are soy-based tuna steaks that are in the works. It would not be the first to market with an animal-free tuna substitute.

The main factor that draws people to steak is the texture of the meat. In the plant-based meat vertical, there has not been as much innovation in the whole cuts space, and no one has come close to inventing a steak that resembles anything high-end. We believe this is an immense opportunity for our bigger rivals, given the need to decarbonise/offer a plant-based alternative in this space as well.

The image is called Juicy Marbles.

The plant-based products are limited to cheaper cuts and there are no whole-cuts.

It is not clear exactly how it is able to produce such large slaps of fake meat.

It will be more transparent once it is able to protect its intellectual property.

It states that its plant steaks are not grown in a lab or 3D printed, but that it is using its own patent-pending 3D assembly technology to create premium, A5 grade cuts of meat.

The proof of all those claims will be in the food. Meat eaters should be prepared to be impressed by the high-level marbling effect and bold, rich flavour.

It says that it will shrink the cost per steak so that it will be comparable to paying for a more conventional cut of meat within a few years.

There are health reasons to consider substituting plant-based steaks for meat, as they use non-saturated fats and are low in sodium, which may be a reason to do so.

The seed round is led by Ecosia, a search engine that aims to help decarbonize the planet. The first investment of the World Fund is Juicy Marbles.

The general partner at the fund said there has been a shift in recent years towards plant-based alternatives driven by a generation who want to make a real difference to the planet and their health. They are often met with poor replacements or they resist going fully plant-based because they are not ready to give up on little luxuries, like whole cut meats. The team at Juicy Marbles is acutely aware of this. Their realistic and considered approach combined with their technology has resulted in a major piece of the plant-based puzzle. We are excited to join them and witness how much of an impact they will make in the months and years to come.

A number of angel investors from Y Combinator are also in the round.

The seed funding will be used to scale production so that it can launch its first plant-based steaks into the retail market.

It is planning to sell to supermarkets. Direct to consumer sales will be limited to special offers due to the complexity of producing packaging for shipping goods to individual consumers.

It is planning to expand its team and increase its R&D efforts.

The next round will allow us to set up a gigafactory of plant meat to scale operations and further reduce the price of plant-based meat.

The founding team consists of both vegan and meat eaters.

The World Fund is a climate VC fund.