Cultured Decadence has announced that it has raised $1.6M pre-seed funding to develop the first cultivated lobster meat in North America. The company will use the funds to expand its team and speed up the development of cell-based lobster meat prototypes with a focus on commercial launch. The financing follows technical progress in the development of novel lobster cell lines and the reduction of cell-culture media costs.
Investors in the oversubscribed round include Bluestein Ventures, Joyance Partners, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, gener8tor, GlassWall Syndicate, Bascom Ventures, and China-based Dao Foods. The company also received non-dilutive funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation administered by the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC).
The company founded by John Pattison and Ian Johnson aims to create sustainable seafood products that have a dramatically lower environmental impact and higher nutritional quality, while keeping prices lower than conventional products. The company says increasing acidification and warming of oceans, overfishing, and a growing world population, have created a need for developing ways to produce high-quality seafood in a sustainable manner.
Cultured Decadence’s technology will utilise the cells of shellfish, such as lobster, to make real meat without the shell or organs, thereby offering seafood that’s more sustainable, animal friendly, and indistinguishable in form and function from wild caught shellfish. The company’s technology can be applied broadly to the $160 billion market for seafood including lobster, crab, shrimp, and scallops.
“The way we engage with animals as a food source needs to change if we are to thrive as a planet,” Pattison, CEO of Cultured Decadence, said. “Our team is at the forefront of that change as we build the future of seafood a thousand miles from the nearest ocean. We are pleased to partner with an experienced group of investors that share our vision and are eager to accelerate our technology to bring transformative seafood products to market.”
The Wisconsin-based cellular agriculture company has its eyes set on cultured seafood, unlike most other companies that are engaged in developing lab alternatives for chicken, pork or beef. Singapore-based Shiok Meats is another company working on cultured shellfish.
(Cultivated seafood or lab-grown seafood comes from animals, and is therefore, not technically vegan. However, it is cruelty-free as it does not involve slaughter of animals. It is essential for the spread of veganism as it will enable people to switch to progressive foods that do not harm animals or the environment.)