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Cultivated meat startup Uncommon backed by OpenAI CEO in £24m raise

Image credit: Uncommon

Cultivated meat company Higher Steaks has been served $30m (£23.9m) in funding and is rebranding to Uncommon.

Existing investors with an appetite for Uncommon’s latest round include OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman. Balderton Capital and Lowercarbon led the Series A round. They were joined by Max Altman, Miray Zaki, Sebastiano Castiglioni, Red Alpine and East Alpha.

For now, the food tech startup is focusing its attention towards cultivated pork, including bacon and pork belly. The company has created technology to manipulate the molecule responsible for telling cells to make protein from a single animal cell.

The Cambridge-based startup’s approach does not require genetic modification, antibiotics, animal products or “toxic small molecules”.

Benjamina Bollag, CEO and founder of Uncommon, said: “From a young age, I have always been aware of how diets and food choices can have a disproportionate impact on our health.

“This led me to found Uncommon, a biocreation company that uses the power of cells to tackle the most pressing challenges to our health, starting with cultivated pork.”

Uncommon plans to step up production at its Cambridge Technopark manufacturing site, gain regulatory approval and increase hires with the raise.

“The cultivated meat industry faces significant challenges, from the cost of materials to regulation and scaling,” said Daniel Waterhouse, partner at Balderton Capital.

In total Uncommon has now secured $35m (£27.9m) in funding.

Other cultivated meat – also known as lab-grown meat or cultured meat – companies include Hoxton Farms and Ivy Farms.