Singapore-based UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats have announced the proposed merger of the two cultivated seafood pioneers, establishing the combined entity as a global leader in the burgeoning cultivated seafood market.

UMAMI Bioworks said in its recent statement that this strategic combination, the first of its kind in the cultivated seafood space, aims to expedite the journey towards scalable production of sustainable, cultivated seafood alternatives.

Targeted for swift completion, this merger leverages the unique strengths of UMAMI Bioworks’ innovative production platform and enabling technologies and Shiok Meats’ pioneering research in crustacean cell cultivation.

Based in Singapore, both entities anticipate synergies that will enhance go-to-market efficiencies, expand commercial opportunities, and accelerate regulatory approvals and market introduction of cultivated seafood products.

UMAMI Bioworks Chief Executive Officer Mihir Pershad will head up the newly unified company as Chief Executive Officer, with a Board of Directors that will include global seafood investment leaders Hatch Blue and Aqua-Spark.

“Uniting UMAMI’s platform technologies around continuous biomanufacturing and machine learning-based automation with Shiok Meats’ groundbreaking crustacean work offers an expedited path to the cultivation of a range of sustainable seafood products,

“The technological and business synergies of this merger represent a vital strategic step towards addressing the critical challenges of cultivated seafood production and advancing our mission to supply sustainable, not-caught seafood without compromising the planet’s health,” said Pershad.

Dr. Sandhya Sriram, Group Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Shiok Meats, expressed enthusiasm for the merger’s potential to significantly impact the global seafood market.

“By bringing together these two iconic companies, we are creating a strong platform to make the vision of cultivated seafood a reality,

“The combined business means increased scale and speed to market in Asia and globally,” he said.

He also said the strong technology and team Umami has built will be the perfect custodian of the progress Shiok Meats has made on crustaceans, especially with their patent recently granted in the European Union.

“I have always believed in consolidation to progress a novel industry like ours,

“I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organization will achieve,” he added.

According to the statement, the urgency for sustainable seafood solutions is underscored by the rapid increase in global seafood demand and the critical status of over 100 commonly consumed fish species on the IUCN Red List.

It said UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats are now together committed to innovating within this space, providing consumers with mercury-free, nutritious, and culturally relevant seafood alternatives, thereby contributing to the regeneration of marine ecosystems.

UMAMI Bioworks is firm pioneering a standardized, modular, and automated production platform for cultivating ‘not caught’ seafood.

The firm is bringing together novel stem cell biology, machine learning, and automation to create the operating system for cultivated seafood production, empowering traditional seafood suppliers to produce a stable, resilient, local supply of culturally relevant seafood products free from mercury, antibiotics, microplastics, and ocean pollutants.

Shiok Meats is a cultivated meat and seafood company who owns cultivated red meat company, Gaia Foods.

The firm has conducted research and development (R&D) on crustaceans like shrimps, crabs, and lobsters by using cellular agriculture technology.

The company has raised funding of $30 million+ from notable investors like Aqua-Spark, SEEDS capital, Toyo Seikan, Real Tech Holdings, Big Idea Ventures, Y Combinator, Entrepreneur First, AiiM Partners and Henry Soesanto of Monde Nissin.

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