Alt-seafood startup Umami Meats nets $2.4m to scale production in Singapore

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Alt-seafood startup Umami Meats nets $2.4m to scale production in Singapore

Singapore alt-seafood startup Umami Meats has secured pre-seed funding of US$2.4 million. 

The company says it will use the funds to further advance its low-cost production system for cultivating cell-based fish by developing robust and production-ready cells from different species and leveraging its plant-based growth serum. 

According to the company, its cultivated seafood offers the same nutrition as farmed or wild seafood and provides the same flavours – but free from antibiotics, heavy metals, and microplastics. 

“Seafood is a $180 billion industry faced with growing global demand and supply that is increasingly volatile and under threat from climate change, overfishing, and ocean pollutants,” said Mihir Bershad, founder and CEO at Umami Meats.

Global seafood production has quadrupled over the past 50 years, with an average person eating 19.2kg fish each year – almost twice as much as half a century ago. 

In addition, almost 30 per cent of fish stocks commercially fished are over-fished, with illegal fishing comprising an estimated 28 per cent of fishing worldwide. 

Bershad added that the investors’ commitment to a more sustainable food system, together with a deep understanding of agri-food and alt-protein, would be a valuable resource in establishing cultivated seafood as a sustainable solution to the growing demand for seafood while reducing pressures on the ocean’s ecosystems. 

The pre-seeding funding round was co-led by Genendant, a venture company investing in early-stage, deep-tech agri-food startups in Asia, and Better Bite Ventures, a venture company focused on Asia Pacific alt-protein. Other participants include Impact Venture, Katapult Ocean, Plug and Play Ventures, The Yield Lab Asia Pacific, Venture for America, and Cult Food Science. 

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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