BLUU Seafood, a Germany-based food biotech that produces cultivated fish, aims to launch the first cultivated seafood products in Singapore in 2024 after securing Series A funding.

BLUU Seafood said in a statement on Friday after securing EUR 16 million ($17.36 million), the firm has secured the necessary capital to further advance the work on its groundbreaking technology and to enable the market launch.

According to the statement, the Series A funding was led by Sparkfood, a subsidiary of Sonae, and by LBBW VC.

Further participants in the round are Asian investor SeaX Ventures and other renowned venture capitals such as Manta Ray Ventures, Norrsken VC, Delivery Hero Ventures, Innovationsstarter Fonds Hamburg GmbH and Dr. Oetker.

In total, BLUU Seafood has raised more than EUR 23 million ($24.95 million) since its founding three years ago.

With the fresh money, the company will focus primarily on the regulatory approval of its first products, in addition to expanding its research work and initiating pilot production.

The first main focus will be on hybrid products such as fish balls and fish fingers made from cultivated fish cells, the same as the ones presented in the summer of 2022.

The start-up expects its first market entry to be Singapore, where the sale of cultivated chicken has already been approved by regulators in 2020, making it the ideal launch pad for BLUU’s cultivated fish, for which the company expects to get regulatory approval by 2024.

In the United States, cultivated meat and fish are also about to be launched into the market after recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for cultivated protein start-ups GOOD Meat and UPSIDE Foods.

With the final approval of the US Department of Agriculture granted a few days ago, sale of these products is now officially allowed.

BLUU Seafood, too, has initiated the approval process with the FDA. It said Europe will be the next to follow.

The company is currently preparing to open its pilot production plant with construction work expected to be completed by autumn this year.

With this plant, BLUU Seafood will leave lab scale and reach another important milestone by scaling up production into larger fermenters of up to 500 liters.

“On one hand, our highly successful Series-A demonstrates the enormous future potential that lies in cultivated fish as a platform technology for sustainable animal protein,

“On the other hand, it also underlines the strong scientific development that BLUU Seafood and our excellent team have delivered so far,” said Dr. Sebastian Rakers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BLUU Seafood.

“Together with our strong, international investor base, we can start the next stage of development and bring our first products to market,” he added.

BLUU Seafood Co-Founder Simon Fabich said the momentum in the market is huge, exemplified by the recent regulatory approvals for cultivated food in the United States.

“Our vision is becoming reality. More and more, forward-looking investors have come to realize this, and the flow of capital will increase massively,

“BLUU Seafood, too, will continue to raise funds and help lead this revolution as a European player,” he added.

Sparkfood Ventures Head Anouk Veber said the future of human nutrition lies in healthier and sustainable alternatives to conventional food production.

“At Sparkfood, we focus on disruptive innovations in the food sector that preserve the environment while being scalable enough to make a relevant contribution to feeding the growing world population,

“BLUU Seafood has provided proof-of-concept for this. We are excited and proud to support the great team at BLUU Seafood in bringing this to market,” he said.

LBBW VC Managing Director Andreas von Richter said the firm’s vision is to shape a resilient future that is based on targeted investments in startups, which significantly and sustainably improve the carbon footprint.

“In this regard, groundbreaking technologies play a crucial role. In particular, the cell cultivation of proteins represents a key innovation,

“BLUU Seafood is proving to be a real pioneer in this area, and we are delighted to support this German success story and jointly tread the path into a sustainable future,” he added.

BLUU Seafood is a company in Europe to specialize in the commercial production of cultivated fish.

As a pioneer at the interface between cell and food technology, the firm is stepping up to produce healthy, sustainable and at the same time delicious fish products from cell cultures.

Its aim is to produce fish without animal suffering, in a cost-efficient way, thus making a significant contribution to climate and species protection.

The start-up, based in Berlin with scientific facilities in Lübeck, was founded in 2020 by Dr Sebastian Rakers and Simon Fabich with a team of experts including marine and cell biologists, tissue and food engineers.

In research and development, BLUU Seafood cooperates with the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Engineering in Lübeck.

32 employees from 13 different nations work for the food biotech.

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