Bluu Biosciences, a startup making cell-based fish, has raised a €7 million (~$8.24M USD) round of funding. TechCrunch was first to report the news, writing that Manta Ray Ventures, Norrsken VC, Be8, CPT Capital and Lever VC all participated in the round.
The Berlin, Germany-based Bluu is working on creating cell-based versions of salmon, trout and carp. Though there are more companies tackling the creation of cell-based beef and chicken, there is an emerging wave (pardon the pun) of startups making cultured fish protein. Bluu is focused on salmon, trout and carp. Here in the U.S. BlueNalu is working on cell-based mahi-mahi and bluefin tuna. And in Asia, the Hong-Kong-based Avant Meats is developing fish maw and sea cucumber, while Singapore-based Shiok Meats is making cultured shellfish.
Funding for cell-based protein startups continues to be heavy. A recent report from the Good Food Institute found that cultured meat startups raised $360 million in 2020. Just this week, Eat Just, which makes cell-based chicken that is actually for sale in Singpaore, raised an additional $200 million.
While cell-based fish products aren’t for sale yet, they are getting closer to market. BlueNalu is building out its pilot production facility, which will make 200 – 500 pounds of commercial grade cultured fish. Shiok plans to have it shrimp commercially available by 2022. And Avant recently announced a 90 percent cost reduction in the production of its fish maw.
All of this funding and progress is helping narrow the availability window of cultured meat products with some experts predicting it will hit price parity with traditional animal protein in five years.