©Shiok Meats. Company founders Dr. Ka Yi Ling and Dr. Sandhya Sriram.
Cell-based shrimp producer Shiok Meats has raised $12.6 million in a Series A funding round led by Aqua-Spark, an investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture.
Founded in 2018, Singapore-based Shiok Meats aims to produce clean, healthy and cruelty-free seafood through its cell-based crustacean meat production process.
Shiok’s proprietary technology isolates stem cells from shrimp, lobster and crab; these are then grown in nutrient-rich conditions into crustacean meats.
According to Aqua-Spark, Shiok’s patent-pending technology can grow crustaceans four times faster than conventional production methods. The company’s cell-based production process is non-GMO and free from chemicals and antibiotics.
The company’s flagship product is a cell-based shrimp, which is said to offer a clean, traceable alternative to the shrimp farming industry.
©Shiok Meats. Dumplings made with the company’s cell-based shrimp.
Shiok Meats’ latest financing push also attracted investments from Seeds Capital, Real Tech Fund, Irongrey, Yellowdog Empowers Fund and Veg Invest Trust, among others.
According to Aqua-Spark, the funds will contribute towards building a commercial pilot plant which is central to Shiok’s plans to launch its minced shrimp product in 2022.
The facility will produce frozen cell-based shrimp meat for dumplings and other shrimp-based dishes.
In addition, Shiok plans to launch shrimp flavouring paste and powder, fully-formed 3D shrimp, and cell-based lobster and crab products in the coming years.
“The cell-based animal protein industry has been on our radar for some time as once it is at scale it will have an enormous influence on food production efficiency, food safety, and the environment,” said Aqua-Spark co-founders, Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz.
“As our first investment in cell-based seafood, Shiok Meats immediately stood out to us with their strong, female-led team and impressive milestones to-date.”
Dr. Sandhya Sriram, CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats, added: “We are extremely excited to work in partnership with Aqua-Spark as we develop cell-based seafood and meats that are contributing towards a cleaner and healthier seafood industry and solving the inefficiencies around global protein production.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020