[09 April/NZ Herald]

Kiwi start-up New Culture is developing lab-grown mozzarella. There is a growing demand for good-tasting vegan cheese that tastes good and is made for the conscious consumer. Co-founder Matt Gibson says New Culture has no direct competitors or at least none who are funded. Mr Gibson relocated from Auckland to California in February, having won backing from IndieBio, a San Francisco-based incubator that specialises in “future food” and includes the high-profile, cell-based steak maker Memphis Meats in its stable, among many others. IndieBio has chipped in US$200,000 in pre-seed funding, and Mr Gibson says he’s also finalising US$125,000 from an international VC. After that, he plans to raise US$1.5 million to develop a pilot production process and expand his team.