By now, you’ve probably heard of cultured (or lab-grown) meat. But what about cultured seafood? That’s what BlueNalu, a San Diego-based startup, is working on.
The company is developing cellular aquaculture, in which living cells are taken from fish and grown, using culture media, to create seafood. Basically it’s cellular agriculture, but for seafood instead of beef or pork.
Today BlueNalu got some new wind in their sales: the company announced that they raised a $4.5 million seed round. New Crop Capital led the round, with participation by 25 VC firms and individuals from the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong, Luxembourg, and Israel (a country which is turning out to be a hotbed of clean meat innovation).
This news is pretty impressive, considering the company was just established two months ago. It also indicates a strong interest in clean seafood. BlueNalu isn’t the only company working in the space; Wild Type is currently developing cultured salmon and Finless Foods is working on lab-grown bluefin tuna. So far this year, both companies have each raised $3.5 million.
There’s no word yet on whether BlueNalu will try to develop their own clean seafood product or license out their cellular aquaculture tech to other companies. But the amount of money they raised mean that people (this reporter included) are pretty excited to see just what exactly cellular aquaculture can do.