Bell Food Group and M Ventures have contributed to an initial $55m series B tranche for the cultured meat developer spun out of Maastricht University.

Netherlands-based cultured meat developer Mosa Meat has received a first $55m series B tranche from investors including meat processor Bell Food Group and pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co’s M Ventures unit.

The round was led by foodtech-focused fund Blue Horizon Ventures, and also featured undisclosed participants. Mosa Meat did not specify the round’s target size.

Spun out of Maastricht University in 2016, Mosa Meat is working on a commercial production process to manufacture synthetic meat grown from cultured animal organisms such as cells rather than by slaughtering livestock.

The spinout has grown its team to 50 people so far, and will use the funding to hire additional staff, develop an industrial-size production line and work towards a market launch in Europe. Regina Hecker, partner at Blue Horizon Ventures, will join the board of directors.

Maarten Bosch, chief executive of Mosa Meat, said: “We are very excited to welcome our new partners and see existing partners continue our journey together.

“With their support and capabilities, we have the opportunity to take the next concrete steps to scale production, make progress towards a cleaner, kinder way of making real beef, and ultimately increase the resilience, sustainability and safety of our global food system.”

Mosa Meat previously raised $8.7m in a series A round in mid-2018 co-led by Bell Food Group and M Ventures, with participation from Glass Wall Syndicate.

Aquafeed product manufacturer Nutreco and VC fund Lowercarbon Capital were identified as investors in January 2020, but Mosa Meat said in its series B announcement both were actually participants in the series A round.

Earlier backers include Sergey Brin, co-founder of internet technology group Alphabet, who provided $330,000 in 2013 to fund the development of the first cultured meat burger created by Mosa Meat’s chief scientific officer Mark Post, then chair of physiology at Maastricht University.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister site, Global University Venturing.