Investments & Finance

Save Da Sea Secures Funds for Expansion, Proving that “Profit with Purpose” is Possible

Canadian plant-based seafood startup Save Da Sea recently secured CAD 650,000 in a seed II financing round to accelerate the US expansion of its salmon and tuna alternatives and hire additional team members at its headquarters in Victoria.

The startup made its US debut at Market of Choice, a retail chain with 11 locations throughout Oregon, last week, as reported by Betakit. Meanwhile, its US expansion plans include other listings following a strategy to concentrate on natural foods retailers in the Pacific Northwest.

Last year, CEO and founder Aki Kaltenbach reported that the company’s revenue in the Canadian market had tripled year over year, encouraging a US launch of its fresh refrigerated smoked salmon and tuna products.

“We see a big opportunity in plant-based foods”

The round was led by the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Thrive Lab, which launched in 2023 to provide $100 million in investments to women-led businesses. Spring, What If Ventures and York University’s YSpace also participated.

Sévrine Labelle, managing director at Thrive Lab, commented, “Save da Sea is the Thrive Lab’s first investment and Aki brings a kaleidoscope of skills and drive. We see a big opportunity in plant-based foods as consumers increasingly focus on their health and demand more sustainable options.”

Vegan Smoked Salmon
© Save Da Sea

Fresh seafood for the planet

Save da Sea was founded in 2019 to tap into the growing plant-based seafood market, aiming to combine profit with purpose and sustainability: “Imagine a world where we no longer need to kill fish to enjoy seafood,” the company states on its website.

The Canadian startup offers alternatives that mimic the taste and flavor of seafood crafted with simple and minimally processed ingredients. Its plant-based product portfolio includes two smoked salmon, one plain and another with dill and capers, both made from carrots and enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a tuna salad made with jackfruit and vegan mayo.

“Many consumers want to eat fresh, unprocessed foods that taste delicious and don’t hurt the planet”

The startup’s first national distribution was in 2022 when its products reached 180 Sobeys and Safeway stores across Canada. Today, Save da Sea is available in 500 retail stores, including Fortinos, Healthy Planet, Save-On Foods, Sobeys, and Whole Foods.

Save da Sea is also a member of YSpace’s Food & Beverage Accelerator program, and last year, it joined Future Ocean Foodsa global foodtech association born to support and accelerate the alternative seafood industry worldwide.

Kaltenbach shared, “Many consumers want to eat fresh, unprocessed foods that taste delicious and don’t hurt the planet. That is what Save da Sea delivers. Since launching, we have experienced steady growth. We know businesses can profit with purpose and we are proving it.

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