US cellular aquaculture start-up BlueNalu has secured $4.5 million just two months after launching, as it aims to produce seafood directly from fish cells.
New Crop Capital served as lead investor and was joined by a coalition of 25 venture organisations and individuals from the US, UK, Hong Kong, Israel, and Luxembourg.
San Diego-based BlueNalu’s cellular aquaculture process aims to provide an alternative to current industry practices in which fish are farmed or wild-caught.
The firm said its technology will create seafood “in a way that is healthy for people, humane for animals, and sustainable for our planet”.
“It’s time to rethink seafood and how we can sustainably feed our global population in the decades ahead,” said Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu CEO.
“We are very grateful for the tremendous interest in BlueNalu from both the financial and mission-driven venture community, and we are extremely pleased by the global reach and diversity of the investors in our seed round.
“This level of funding will allow us to aggressively develop our technology platform and the commercialisation strategy required for product manufacture.
“We are also implementing strategic partnerships that will enable us to ultimately reach our target customers with a line of great-tasting, distinctive, and cost-effective seafood products for global distribution.”
New Crop Capital chief investment officer Chris Kerr said: “This is the largest seed round to date in this category, and one of the largest that has occurred globally in the entire ‘clean meat’ space.
“We are very excited at the market potential for BlueNalu and their ability to offer consumers an alternative to conventional animal sources that today originate only in our oceans and seas.”
He added: “We are thrilled by the level of professional expertise of the BlueNalu team in the diversified fields of cell biology, tissue engineering, intellectual property, food innovation, technology commercialisation, and consumer marketing.”
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