Today cultured seafood company Finless Foods CEO & Co-founder Mike Selden wrote a piece on Medium announcing that they had closed a $3.5 million seed round. The round was led by Draper Associates, with participation from Softmatter VC, Blue Horizon, Hemisphere Ventures, Yakumi Investment and more.
In the piece, Selden wrote that this invesment would bring them “to the end of our initial R&D phase,” and give them “the tools necessary to move into production pending the closing of a Series A.”
Finless Foods uses cellular biology to grow fish (and, eventually, other seafood) in bioreactors. They’re doing similar work to Memphis Meats or JUST Foods, but are focused on fish instead of meat. Wild Type is another startup using cellular agriculture to develop seafood (specifically salmon) grown outside the animal, and similarly raised $3.5 million a few months ago.
The company got its start in the legendary IndieBio accelerator program in 2017, where they created the first fish product grown in a lab. They later got investment from Hatch, a Norwegian aquaculture accelerator, as well as Hi-Food, an Italian company focused on sustainability in food.
Their first product will be bluefin tuna, a species which is threatened with overfishing. They plan to bring it to market by the end of 2019 — and with this funding, they just got a lot closer to that goal.