New GFI reports show accelerating investment for plant-based and cell-based industries

Thirteen billion dollars were invested in U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies in 2017 and 2018 alone. Eleven cell-based meat companies were founded in 2018.
Sotir cell-based meat and plant-based meat, eggs and dairy

Beyond Meat’s IPO marked the most successful market debut since 2000. The stock price rocketed up by 163 percent by the market’s close that day. But this is just one aspect of a much larger and accelerating trend: investors are capitalizing on a global shift in meat production.

GFI’s State of the Industry Reports for the plant-based and cell-based industries (released today!) show that 2017 and 2018 were years of unprecedented investment in plant-based and cell-based meat companies. The past two years saw a dramatic increase in investments, acquisitions, and new companies being founded.

Here’s the skinny:

Top funded pre-exit plant-based food companies

Investor interest in plant-based and cell-based products is only gaining momentum. And we’ve seen the innovation and enthusiasm driving this surge reflected in the headlines with recent product launches, menu additions, and successful venture rounds.

This past April alone, Burger King, McDonald’s Germany, QDOBA, Taco Bell, and Del Taco added plant-based meat or increased their veg options. Meanwhile, animal-free egg producer Clara Foods closed a series B, and Singapore’s cell-based meat company Shiok Meats closed a $4.6 million seed round.

GFI executive director Bruce Friedrich explains, “Shifting consumer values have created a favorable market for alternatives to animal-based foods, and we have already seen fast-paced growth in this space across retail and foodservice markets.”

But we’re just at the beginning of tremendous growth period for both the plant-based and cell-based industries. Global meat demand is projected to double by 2050. GFI innovation director Brad Barbera points out that, “capturing even a fraction of this burgeoning market would represent a massive opportunity for both plant-based and cell-based meat companies.”

The entrepreneurs and investors who are building these industries from the ground up have an unprecedented opportunity to drive and capitalize on a sea change in global meat production. Get the full picture with GFI’s new State of the Industry Reports.

Read our press statement here. 


Mary allen

Mary Allen GFI ALUM

Mary Allen is a science writer, creative strategist, and GFI alum focused on the intersection of sustainability and emerging technology. Find more of her work at