The start-up, a portfolio company of Tyson Ventures, produces shrimps using sustainable seaweed and plant proteins
Plant-based shrimps made by New Wave Foods
Photo as see on the Facebook page of New Wave Foods

New Wave Foods has raised $18 million in a Series A round. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, the start-up produces shrimps made of sustainable seaweed and plant proteins.

The company said it will initially focus on selling its products to restaurants and foodservice locations.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA) led the investment along with Evolution VC Partners, and a group of new and existing investors, including Tyson Ventures.

Liza Landsman, general partner at NEA, will join the New Wave Foods board of directors.

Landsman siad: “Plant-based protein is one of the most important consumer trends in decades, with explosive demand for healthy, sustainable products, and New Wave Foods is delivering a plant-based seafood alternative that is delicious, responsible, and humane.”

Founded by Mary McGovern in 2015, New Wave Foods has raised $26 million to date. McGovern took up the chief executive role nearly two years ago.

Landsman argued that New Wave Foods entered the market with an uncompromising, category-defining approach to a fast-growing market. “We are thrilled to partner with the New Wave Foods team on what promises to be a remarkable journey,” she said.

The shrimp market

Americans eat an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of shrimp annually, making shrimp the most consumed seafood in the US, with consumption intake equal to twice as much as salmon or tuna. Notably, 80% of shrimp is consumed in foodservice.

New Wave Foods claimed that its plant-based shrimp are virtually indistinguishable from ocean shrimp in terms of taste and texture. These products are the result of years of close collaboration between top-tier chefs and R&D experts.

“Our focus is on offering customers a new, innovative, plant-based shellfish, beginning with the introduction of our plant-based shrimp,” said McGovern. She noted that alongside taste, the company aims to address the environmental issues that come with shrimp farming and overfishing.

McGovern added: “We look forward to an exciting next chapter of growth for the company and are honoured to have an outstanding group of investors who share and support our vision.”

New Wave Foods seeks to expand its plant-based shellfish offering to lobster, scallops, and crab following the rollout of its plant-based shrimp product.

Gregg Smith, chief executive of Evolution VC Partners, argued New Wave Foods is poised to lead the shellfish category with its proprietary product. “Consumers have rapidly embraced and adopted plant-based foods, and New Wave Foods represents a compelling opportunity in the protein alternatives space,” he concluded.

Date published: 6 January 2021