CEBU, Philippines -- A Singaporean company with designs on being the world's first producer of commercially viable faux minced shrimp has secured $12.6 million in Series A funding led by sustainable aquaculture-focused fund Aqua-Spark.
Shiok Meats will use some of the fresh capital to build a commercial pilot plant that is expected to start producing a faux minced shrimp product in 2022.
The funding round "puts Shiok on schedule to become the world's first company to have a fully functioning commercial pilot plant for cell-based crustacean production," the company said in a statement.
Shiok Meats is the first cell-based meat company in Southeast Asia and the only cell-based meat company working on shrimp.
Investors in the funding round also include SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore; Japan's Real Tech Fund and Toyo Seikan Group Holdings; Iron Grey, a global tech investing family office based in South Korea; Yellowdog Empowers Fund; Singapore's Ilshin Holdings and Makana Ventures; Veg Invest Trust; Beyond Impact; AiiM Partners; Kelvin Chan Siang Lim; and Alex Payne and Nicole Brodeur.
The fresh funding comes three months after Shiok Meats raised $3 million in a bridge financing round led by Agronomics, a U.K.-based alternative meat investor; VegInvest, a U.S.-based slaughter-free investment firm; Impact Venture, a U.K.-based angel fund; and the UAE's Mindshift Capital Fund.
Shiok Meats was founded in August 2018 by stem cell scientists Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling, who have over 20 years of combined experience in the muscle, fat and stem cell biology fields.
One of Shiok's key objectives is to lower the cost of producing lab-grown shrimp. One lab-grown shrimp product produced by Shiok costs a hefty $300 to produce. Shiok wants to cut this to $50 per kilogram by 2021. It believes the meat will be commercially palatable at that price.
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