The company’s technology can be applied broadly to the $160 billion market for seafood including lobster, crab, shrimp, and scallops

Cultured Decadence announced the close of $1.6 million pre-seed financing to create the first cell-cultured lobster meat in the US. The financing follows important technical progress in the development of novel lobster cell lines and the reduction of cell-culture media costs.

The company will use the funds to expand its team and continue development of cell-cultured lobster meat prototypes in preparation for a commercial launch.

Chief executive John Pattison and chief science officer Ian Johnson co-founded Cultured Decadence last year to create sustainable seafood products that have a dramatically lower environmental impact and higher nutritional quality – and at a lower price point compared to current products.

Investors in the oversubscribed round include Bluestein Ventures, Joyance Partners, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, gener8tor, GlassWall Syndicate, Bascom Ventures, and China-based Dao Foods.

Ashley Hartman, senior principal at Bluestein Ventures, said: “John and Ian are visionary founders, and we’ve been impressed with the team’s skill set and scientific integrity. We’re excited to join the pre-seed round for Cultured Decadence and for the potential of their technology to transform the market for seafood; we look forward to supporting their vision to create animal-free shellfish.”

Increasing acidification and warming of oceans, overfishing, and a growing world population all contribute to the need for better solutions for producing high-quality seafood.

“The way we engage with animals as a food source needs to change if we are to thrive as a planet,” said Patison. “Our team is at the forefront of that change as we build the future of seafood a thousand miles from the nearest ocean. We are pleased to partner with an experienced group of investors that share our vision and are eager to accelerate our technology to bring transformative seafood products to market.”

Cultured Decadence’s technology will utilise the cells of shellfish, such as lobster, to make real meat without the shell or organs, thereby offering seafood that’s more sustainable, animal friendly, and indistinguishable in form and function from wild caught.

The company’s technology can be applied broadly to the $160 billion market for seafood including lobster, crab, shrimp, and scallops.

Cultured Decadence also received non-dilutive funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation administered by the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC).

CTC Director Dr Idella Yamben, said: “This funding highlights critical progress made by Cultured Decadence and the importance of their collaborative engagement with academic and industry partners. CTC is excited for their continued success as they work to scale their technology in Wisconsin.”

The seafood market begins to gain the attention of investors as novel and disruptive start-up emerge. Austrian Revo Foods, for example, is ready to hit the market with salmon products made by bioprinting plant-based ingredients.

Date published: 9 April 2021

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