Juicy Marbles is pioneering a new category of food: plant-based whole cuts
Juicy Marbles – the premium purveyor of plant-based, premium steaks, beginning with plant-based filet mignon – has raised $4.5 million in a Seed funding round, led by World Fund. Agfunder and leading angels from YCombinator and Fitbit also participated in the round.
Founded by a team of meat-eaters and vegans, Juicy Marbles is on a mission to reduce our reliance on animal agriculture in a way that even the most staunch carnivores can get behind. With a focus on premium plant-based meat products that never compromise on taste, price, convenience or quality, all while being sustainable and future-proofed, Juicy Marbles is set to be the first company to commercially release a plant-based filet mignon steak and open up a whole new category of plant-based meat.
Juicy Marbles was founded by Luka Sinček, Maj Hrovat, Tilen Travnik and Vladimir Mićković in 2020 in an attempt to address this disconnect. Early on, they found that while there is increasing choice when it comes to plant-based meat alternatives such as sausages and burgers, the whole cut sector is largely lacking. This was because whole cuts were one of the plant-based industry’s biggest challenges. They are difficult to replicate due to the complex texture and intricate fat systems (marbling), particularly on a mass-market scale. Until Juicy Marbles.
Juicy Marbles steaks are not grown in a lab or 3D printed. Instead, the company has developed its own patent-pending 3D assembly technology. The technology enables it to create premium, A5 grade cuts of meat, with full control over the shape, texture, marbling, flavours, aromas and nutrition. Not only does it have the high-level marbling effect even the most discerning meat eaters will be used to, but it also comes with the same bold, rich flavour they’ve come to expect yet at the price of conventional meat. What’s more, plant-based steaks use non-saturated fats and are low in sodium, compared to meat equivalents.
Animal agriculture takes up 83% of all agricultural land on earth, despite supplying only 18% of humanity’s food supply. Beef production alone uses nearly 60% of this land but accounts for less than 2% of calories consumed worldwide. By pioneering alternatives to whole cuts, Juicy Marbles believes it can help cut meat consumption in half by as soon as 2030. But plant-based meat isn’t just solving an environmental issue. With over 2 billion people struggling with food insecurity as a result of crop failure, deforestation and overgrazing, diverse protein sources can help tackle systemic inequalities in the global food system.
Tilen Travnik, co-founder and CEO at Juicy Marbles, said: “With our premium, A5 grade cuts of plant-based meat, we intend to achieve price parity already at launch, and beat the price of animal meat within the next 2-3 years. This funding will help us to scale up our operations and begin transforming the future of food. ”
Maj Hrovat, co-founder and CTO at Juicy Marbles, said: “What was important to us is that the process does not damage the nutritional profile of the product, ensuring customers get a wholesome, nutritious piece of meat with all the proteins, vitamins and minerals intact. We’re delighted we’ve been able to achieve this with our filet mignon and can’t wait to enable people across the world to enjoy this delicious plant-based steak.”
Vladimir Mićković, co-founder and CBO at Juicy Marbles, said: “We tend to talk about the need for plant-based diets solely from an environmental aspect, but that places the problem in the future when we already have a humanitarian issue at hand. With 2 billion people dealing with food insecurity and 780 million people are malnourished, we need to find a solution that works for now. Diversifying our protein sources will play a key part in creating a more just food system and help us feed the world.”
Luka Sinček, co-founder and COO at Juicy Marbles, said: “We are already making plans for a gigafactory of plant-based steaks. If we are to nourish 10 billion people by 2050, we need to beat the heavily subsidized price of animal meat, we need to focus on scale. We believe this can help create an agricultural system that can be sustained in a way that won’t create a biodiversity collapse.”
Juicy Marbles is the first investment made by new climate tech investor World Fund, which last week launched its €350m fund to support the next generation of founders focused on the climate crisis. World Fund has been initiated by the tree-planting search engine Ecosia, and is the brainchild of Ecosia’s founders, Christian Kroll and Tim Schumacher, and Ecosia’s head of investments, Danijel Visevic.
Danijel Visevic, General Partner at World Fund, commented: “There has been a seismic shift in recent years towards plant-based alternatives, driven by a generation who want to make a real difference to the planet and their health. However, so often they’re met with poor substitutes, or they resist going fully plant-based because they’re not ready to give up on little luxuries, like whole cut meats. The team at Juicy Marbles acutely understands this. Their realistic and considered approach, combined with their technology – and appetites! – has seen them finally crack a major piece of the plant-based puzzle. We’re excited to join them and witness just how much of an impact they’re due to make in the months and years to come.”
The funding will be used to bring Juicy Marbles’ first filet mignon product to market, and become the first alternative whole cut protein in the world, before expanding into new product ranges as the company scales into new retailers and regions.
Founded in 2020 by Tilen Travnik (food technologist), Luka Sinček (microbiologist), Maj Hrovat (bio technologist) and Vladimir Mićković (brand creative), Juicy Marbles has created the first line of plant-based, whole cut steaks, specifically Filet Mignon, through their patent-pending Meat-o-matic 9000 with the intent of offering consumers a healthy product without forcing an unrealistic change in behaviour. Juicymarbles.com
World Fund is the leading Europe-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher. From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European tech with significant climate performance potential (CPP). The investment team comprises engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, early and growth stage investors. World Fund is backing those entrepreneurs who are building tech for a regenerative world. worldfund.vc
As featured in: TechCrunch
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