Hoxton Farms Ltd. is a startup that uses mathematical modeling and machine learning to cultivate and grow animal fat from stem cells in order to create a more sustainable source of fat that can be used in meat alternatives.
The company extracts stem cells from living animals without harming them to recreate animal fat in a sustainable way. Animal fat is a crucial ingredient that defines how meat looks, cooks, and tastes. Current meat alternatives rely on plant oils, such as canola oil, in order to feature a degree of fattiness similar to authentic meat products.
Hoxton Farms was founded under the premise that the traditional meat industry is unsustainable and looks to be complementary to the existing alternative meat industry that is rapidly growing. Hoxton Farms’ mission is to create scalable animal fat in order to help accelerate the adoption of more sustainable meat alternative products.
Animal agriculture is responsible for roughly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions and uses 30% of habitable land and freshwater. According to Fortune Business Insights, demand for plant-based meat has grown 125% in the last two years and the global meat substitute market is projected to be worth $8.15 billion by 2026.
The company is currently in the research and development phase and announced in February 2021 that it had raised £2.7 million (approximately $3.7 million) in its seed funding round.
The funding round was led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, with contributions also coming from Backed, Presight Capital, CPT Capital, and Sustainable Food Ventures, as well as additional angel investors.
The funding round will be used to grow Hoxton Farms’ research team and achieve its goal of having a scalable prototype completed within 12 to 18 months. The company will also use the funds to continue exploring potential partnerships with alternative meat producers.
Prior to announcing the funding round, Hoxton Farms was one of 56 winners of the Emerging Technologies Competition held by The Royal Society of Chemistry. Hoxton was recognized for its use of mathematical modelling and machine learning to build technology that expands and differentiates stem cells in order to make its laboratory-grown animal fat.
By using mathematical modeling and machine learning, Hoxton Farms aims to reduce the expense of culturing animal cells in order to make animal fat production cost-effective at scale.
The company also believes that this process will allow them to tailor the taste of the fats to different manufacturers it partners with, creating a range of taste profiles as well as physical properties such as melting temperature and density, among others, and nutritional composition.
HOXTON FARMS AT A GLANCE
- Private company
- Founded in 2020
- Headquartered in London, England (UK)
- Goodwin client since November 2020