Singapore based seafood start up Shiok Meats raises$12.6 Mn from Aqua-Spark
Shiok plans to use the funds to launch its minced shrimp product in 2022.
Aqua-Spark, the first investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture, announced an investment in Shiok Meats (“Shiok”), the world’s first cell-based crustacean meat company based in Singapore. Shiok is the first cell-based meat company in South East Asia, and the first and only cell-based meat company working on shrimp. Their flagship product is a highly-anticipated cell-based shrimp, which offers clean, traceable alternatives to the shrimp farming industry.
Aqua-Spark is the lead investor in Shiok Meat’s $12.6M Series A round, which also includes investments from SEEDS Capital (the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore), Real Tech Fund (Japan), Irongrey (a Global tech investing family office based in Korea), Yellowdog Empowers Fund (South Korea), Ilshin Holdings Pte. Ltd (Singapore), Toyo Seikan Group Holdings, Ltd (Japan), Veg Invest Trust (USA), Makana Ventures (Singapore), AiiM Partners LP (USA), Beyond Impact (Europe), Kelvin Chan Siang Lin (Singapore), and Alex Payne and Nicole Brodeur (USA). The funds will contribute towards building the first-of-its-kind commercial pilot plant from which Shiok plans to launch its minced shrimp product in 2022. This puts Shiok on schedule to become the first company in the world to have a fully functioning commercial pilot plant for cell-based crustacean production.
While commenting on investment, Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark said, “While we’ve invested in a number of technologies working to make shrimp farming more efficient, healthier, and less polluting, Shiok is the first company in our portfolio to focus on shrimp production. We are excited to help shape this novel and innovative industry, which we expect to have a huge impact on the future of seafood, while continuing to support sustainable aquaculture operations, inputs, and innovations across the value chain.”
The shrimp market is a $50 billion market globally with Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and India being the major producers of shrimp. While there are many farms and technologies improving shrimp farming, there is still work to be done. Much of what is currently on the market is raised in crowded factories/farms and treated with antibiotics, chemicals, and hormones. Conventional production processes often contribute to overfishing, excessive bycatch, misrepresentation, and mislabelling as well as contamination with effluents, heavy metals, and micro plastics. This form of production is unsustainable and the sector strain will only increase as the population grows. Shiok is addressing this need and disrupting crustacean production to ensure people can eat clean shrimp, crab and lobster from a safe source.
Shiok Meats was founded in August 2018 by two stem cell scientists, Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling, with over 20 years of combined experience in the muscle, fat, and stem cell biology fields. Shiok’s mission is to produce clean, healthy, cruelty-free seafood. Their cell-based production process is non-GMO and chemical and antibiotic-free.
Dr. Sandhya Sriram, CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats said, “We are extremely excited to work in partnership with Aqua-Spark as we develop cell-based seafood and meats that are contributing towards a cleaner and healthier seafood industry and solving for the inefficiencies around global protein production.”
The output of Shiok’s pilot plant will be frozen cell-based shrimp meat for dumplings and other shrimp-based dishes. Beyond cell-based shrimp, Shiok plans to launch shrimp flavouring paste and powder, fully-formed 3D shrimp, and cell-based lobster and crab products in the coming years.