Agronomics, which is chaired by Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed, is raising £20million to take a major bite out of the lab-grown meat sector.
The Mail on Sunday understands the firm, which invests in meat alternatives, plans to grow its portfolio from six firms to 15 in a year.
Its market value is £6.4million, so the fundraising is a big step.
Reed, 46, who started selling Innocent’s smoothies from a market stall, said: ‘Agronomics will be able to solidify its position in the cultivated meat sector.’
Lab-grown meat is still a tiny industry battling high costs. But producers hope to cash in on shoppers’ desire for ethically sourced meat.
The firms use animal cells to reproduce meat in labs. Agronomics, which is backed by serial investor Jim Mellon and was listed on London’s junior AIM market in April this year, has a stake in Simply Foods, which owns New Age Meats, a producer of lab-grown sausages, though these have yet to prove commercially viable.
Agronomics, which ran a £4.5million fundraising in the summer, is now said to be eyeing stakes in firms developing cultivated beef and chicken.