Shiok Meats, the world’s first cell-based crustacean meat company based in Singapore, has raised US$12.6 million (S$17.27 million) in a Series A funding round.
The Series A round is led by Aqua-Spark, the first investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture.
Other investors include SEEDS Capital (the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore), venture capital funds from Korea, Japan, USA and Europe, as well as angel investors.
According to a press release by Shiok Meats, the funds will contribute towards building the first-of-its-kind commercial pilot plant in Singapore, from which it plans to launch its minced shrimp product in 2022.
This puts the startup on schedule to become the first company in the world to have a fully functioning commercial pilot plant for cell-based crustacean production.
Clean, Sustainable, Cruelty-Free Shrimp
The output of Shiok Meat’s pilot plant will be frozen cell-based shrimp meat for dumplings and other shrimp-based dishes.
The shrimp is created via the cells obtained from a small sample of shrimps or other crustaceans, and grown in a nutrient-rich broth.
Collecting cells is the only stage of production where animal components are required. Shiok Meat’s patent-pending technology can grow crustaceans four times faster than conventional production.
To date, the startup has raised US$20.2 million (S$27.69 million) in total funding.
This funding also comes at an opportune time, when the spotlight is shone on the issue of food security in Singapore.
Singapore aims to produce almost a third of the food that it requires by 2030, which has led to a renewed interest in food technology startups such as Shiok Meats.
“Our mission is to develop cell-based seafood and meats that are contributing towards a cleaner and healthier seafood industry and solving for the inefficiencies around global protein production,” said Shiok Meats CEO Dr. Sandhya Sriram and CTO Dr. Ka Yi Ling.
Featured Image Credit: Shiok Meats