Southeast Asia’s first cell-based meat company Shiok Meats announced that it raised USD 12.6 million in its Series A round led by Aqua-Spark, an investment fund focusing on sustainable aquaculture. Other investors include Singapore-based SEEDS Capital, Japanese Real Tech Fund, and the Korean Yellowdog Empowers Fund.
Currently still in R&D phase, Shiok Meats aims to go to market in “a few years,” according to its website. The firm will use the fresh capital to build a commercial pilot plant, which it plans to use for the launch of a minced shrimp product in 2022.
“The cell-based animal protein industry has been on our radar for some time, as once it is at scale, it will have an enormous influence on food production efficiency, food safety, and the environment,” said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark.
For them, the current shrimp production methods are unsustainable, and clean meat production will help reduce strain on the industry by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy consumption, as well as land use.
“With [Aqua-Spark’s] help, we hope to become the global leader in cell-based crustaceans and seafood,” said Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling, CEO and CTO of Shiok Meats respectively.
Founded in Singapore in 2018 by Dr. Sriram and Dr. Ling, two stem cell scientists, Shiok Meats aims to produce clean and healthy seafood. It is currently working on producing cell-based crustacean meats, such as shrimp, crab, and lobster. Shiok Meats intends to eventually expand into Hong Kong, India, and Australia in the future, Dr. Sriram told KrASIA in a previous interview. In June, the company raised USD 3 million in bridge funding.