US cell-cultured seafood company Cultured Decadence has raised $1.6 million in an oversubscribed round of pre-seed funding. The Wisconsin-based company has also received the first-ever state government funding of cellular agriculture to produce the first cell-cultured lobster meat in North America, as the market for alt seafood continues to grow.
With claims to be the only North American company focused on cell-cultured lobster and shellfish, Cultured Decadence’s financing follows important technical progress in the development of its novel lobster cell lines and the reduction of cell-culture media costs. The company will use the funds to expand its team and continue development of cell-cultured lobster meat prototypes in preparation for a commercial launch.
As Netflix hit Seaspiracy brings the issues of overfishing and ocean pollution to the masses – not to mention the human and animal rights abuses which plague the industry – Cultured Decadence is creating sustainable seafood products with a dramatically lower environmental impact. Its technology will utilize the cells of shellfish, such as lobster, to make real meat without the shell or organs, boasting higher nutritional quality and at a lower price point compared to current products.
The funding round included several investors including non-dilutive funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation administered by the Center for Technology Commercialization – powered by the US Small Business Administration – representing the first time the state government has funded a cell-cultured company. Other companies in the cultivated seafood category around the world include Shiok Meats, Avant Meats, and BlueNalu.
“The way we engage with animals as a food source needs to change if we are to thrive as a planet,” Pattison 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.”