Campbell Soup-backed Acre Venture Partners has made a strategic investment in fungi-based protein supplier Meati to bring its funding total to more than $32m.

US-based meatless protein supplier Meati has collected $28m in a series A round featuring Acre Venture Partners, a venture capital fund backed by food product manufacturer Campbell Soup, AgFunder News has reported.

Congruent Ventures, a sustainability-focused VC firm aligned to University of California, also participated in the round, alongside fellow VC firms Prelude Ventures and Tao Capital, and assorted private investors.

Founded in 2016 as Emergy Foods, Meati produces high-protein foods using a fungi-based ingredient called mycelium that it markets as a wholesome blend also containing minerals, vitamins and fibre.

The company claims its manufacturing facility is able to process products from mycelium within 18 hours of the fungi having been cultivated. Its product offering includes vegetarian alternatives to chicken breasts and beef steaks.

Tyler Huggins, co-founder and CEO of Meati, told AgFunder News: “We are conscious meat eaters ourselves. Our intention isn’t necessarily to create vegan products or to completely replace animal products.

“What we want to do is create new, super-nutritious products that diversify our food system and take the pressure away from industrial agriculture.”

Meati had raised $4.8m in an August 2019 round led by Congruent Ventures that included Prelude Ventures, Better Ventures, 50 Years, New Crop Capital, The March Fund I, Trust Ventures, Bluestein & Associates and unnamed additional investors. Early-stage fund manager Social Starts also lists it as a portfolio company.

Acre Venture Partners launched its $125m first fund in 2016, with Campbell Soup its sole limited partner. It has brought in LPs including The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and Acre’s newly hired partner Bill Helman for its Fund II.