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Source: blog by Lynda Kiernan, Global AgInvesting Media

Industry-leading food tech startup Eat Just has closed on $200 million in new funding led by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Additional investors included Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Alan.

Founded in 2011 with a mission to build a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food system, Eat Just has applied cutting-edge technology to create JUST Egg - the fastest-growing plant-based egg brand in America, and GOOD Meat - the world's first-to-market cellular lab-grown meat.

This work has gained Eat Just widespread recognition, named one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies", Entrepreneur's "100 Brilliant Companies," CNBC's "Disruptor 50" and a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

Likewise, JUST Egg, which is made from mung beans, has zero cholesterol and less saturated fat than regular eggs, has been named one of Popular Science's "100 Greatest Innovation" and one of Fast Company's "World Changing Ideas", and the debut of GOOD Meat was named one of the top scientific breakthroughs of 2020 by The Guardian, VOX, and WIRED.

It has also captured the attention of investors, with total funds raised-to-date tipping at $650 million.

"We are very excited to work with our investors to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system," said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO, Eat Just. "Their knowledge and experience partnering with companies that are transforming numerous industries were fundamental in our decision to partner with them."

The company's JUST Egg product is already in more than 20,000 retail points of distribution and 1,000 foodservice locations, and to-date sales of the plant-based egg are equivalent to 100 million eggs, with 1 million U.S. households making JUST Egg the top in loyalty with branded eggs.

Since its debut in April 2020, sales have soared, quickly becoming the top selling frozen breakfast item at a top-five U.S. supermarket and the top frozen breakfast entrée in the natural channel.

Last year the company also breached an important milestone when its secured the first regulatory approval for high-quality meat created directly from animal cells for human consumption in the world, only weeks before it made history when it served its GOOD Meat-branded cultured chicken to restaurant guests for the first time.

This year saw continued success when Dicos, a leading fast food chain in China, added JUST Egg to its menu - marking the first time a quick service restaurant replaced an animal-based product with a plant-based alternative across multiple regular menu offerings.

The company also announced a partnership with Peet's Coffee on the nationwide launch of The Everything Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich - a new JUST Egg sandwich featuring all plant-based ingredients, and expanded its reach in Canada with its folded product being stocked in more than 1,000 grocery stores by April, and be widely available to restaurants and other foodservice operations.

And Eat Just has no plans to slow down. As it looks to the months ahead the startup stated it will continue its leadership by dramatically reducing the cost of production for cultured meat; will scale up its commercial manufacturing operations; and advance its work on other types of meat.

Cultured meat, in general, is on pace to be a $13 billion market by 2030, and Eat Just sees its GOOD Meat Cultured Chicken as being at a price parity with traditional chicken by that point, according to modeling conducted in February by a leading management consultant retained by Eat Just. With this trajectory, and with this newly-raised capital in-hand, the company plans to build out capacity for its pioneering products, accelerate its R&D initiatives, and raise brand awareness and position in international markets.

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