Yesterday Agronomics, a company which invests in animal product alternatives, announced that it had completed a subscription of $500,000 in the form of a convertible loan to cell-based seafood company Shiok Meats (h/t StockMarketWire). Agronomics stated that on conversion, the subscription is expected to own a roughly 2.3 percent share in the Singaporean startup. The loan will convert to shares upon completion of a Series A funding round of $10 million by Shiok Meats.
The Singaporean company raised $4.6 million in April of this year. This latest round of investment brings its total funding to $5.3 million.
Founded in 2018, Shiok Meats is developing seafood — specifically crustaceans — outside of the animal using a technology called cellular aquaculture. Its first product is cell-based shrimp. The company did the first public taste test of its crustaceans back in March, to reportedly positive reviews.
Shiok Meats is one of several companies developing cultured seafood. Wild Type is developing cell-based salmon, BlueNalu has chosen mahi-mahi as its first cultured seafood product, and Finless Foods has stated it will bring its cell-based bluefin tuna to market over the next few years.
However, Shiok Meats is unique in two ways. Firstly it’s focusing on shrimp, which is one of the most widely consumed kinds of seafood in the world (and the number one most consumed in the U.S.) They’re also one of the few cell-based meat (or seafood) companies based in Asia, despite the fact that that’s the area of the world where cultured meat will likely make its market debut.
When I spoke with Shiok Meat’s CEO Dr. Sandhya Sriram back in January, she told me that the company is still likely 3-5 years from commercializing its first product. But with an additional half a million in its pocket, the startup is edging a lot closer to that goal.