US-based start-up Memphis Meats has raised $17m in funding to expand its clean meat production capabilities.

Participants in this investment round included global agricultural company Cargill, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Virgin’s Richard Branson.

The Series A round was led by venture capital company DFJ, which previously supported companies such as Tesla, SpaceX and Skype.

The company said that it has so far raised $22m.

Memphis Meats co-founder and CEO Uma Valeti said: “We’re going to bring meat to the plate in a more sustainable, affordable and delicious way.

“The world loves to eat meat, and it is core to many of our cultures and traditions. Meat demand is growing rapidly around the world. We want the world to keep eating what it loves. However, the way conventional meat is produced today creates challenges for the environment, animal welfare and human health.

“We’re going to bring meat to the plate in a more sustainable, affordable and delicious way."

“These are problems that everyone wants to solve, and we can solve them by bringing this incredible group of partners under one tent. This group will help us accelerate our progress significantly.”

The investment will enable Memphis Meats to develop new products, enhance clean meat production, increase its workforce chefs, scientists creative people and business people.

DFJ partner Steve Jurvetson said: “Clean meat is an enormous technological shift for humanity, and an opportunity to invest in something so important does not come along often.

“This is a moment where the investment potential and the potential to do good for the world are both off the charts. Investors have been watching this space for years, and Memphis Meats has emerged as the clear leader."