Forsea raises $5.2m to accelerate cultivated seafood R&D efforts
Cultivated seafood company Forsea Foods has raised $5.2 million in a seed round led by Berlin-based investment firm, Target Global.
Forsea was founded last year with the mission to preserve the fish population by creating a viable alternative to wild-caught seafood and is initally focusing on growing eel meat, which it says is in high demand for kabayaki and sushi.
According to Forsea, it is the first company to use organoid technology to culture seafood products. The food tech start-up uses a non-GMO organoid platform in which the eel meat is grown as a three-dimensional tissue structure in the same manner it would grow in a living fish.
Roee Nir, CEO and co-founder of Forsea, said:
“We can produce a product identical in flavour, texture, appearance and nutritional values to real eel. [The] organoid platform allows us to design the fish fillet exactly as it grows in the fish, that is in a three-dimensional structure, without growing the fat and muscle tissues separately.”
The company says that its technique requires fewer bioreactors and represents a more simplified and cost-effective process than traditional cell culturing, making the final product more affordable.
Forsea will inaugurate its pilot plant in 2023 – allowing the company to scale up and launch its first products – and also plans to accelerate research and development on growing eel meat and developing the process for other fish species.
“We are extremely pleased to invest in Forsea and welcome the company into our growing portfolio,” commented Yoni Glickman, managing partner of FoodSparks by PeakBridge. “Forsea has demonstrated breakthrough technology, having recruited an experienced team to solve a significant problem in the food system caused by overfishing and habitat loss.”