- BlueNalu, one of the few cell-based seafood startups, raises $20m for its cell-based fish after a $4.5m seed deal in 2019
- Among investors are New Crop Capital (leader of the seed round), CPT capital, Stray Dog Capital (already on board with Good Catch, a plant-based seafood company) and KBW Capital (the VC firm backed by the Saudi Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed).
- BlueNalu announces a partnership with Nutreco, a Dutch company specialised in animal feed.
- BlueNalu first product will be available before the end of 2021.
It seems that 2020 will be a very good year for cell-based startups as major deals continue to be announced. Let’s hope that this is not a bitcoin or cannabis effect and that we will see real-world products derived from these startups in the next couple of years.
BlueNalu will use the funding to expand its team and grow its production. As many other cell-based startups (fish or meat), it targets the end of 2021 to make its first product (probably yellowtail) available.
It is also interesting to see more and more corporates betting on lab-grown startups. Here the deal between BlueNalu and Nutreco could mean:
- In the short term: the startup will benefit from the procurement capabilities and expertise of the corporate
- In the long term: the corporate buys itself insurance against a future where conventional fish demand declines
This kind of short+long term deal is in principle interesting for both sides and are multiplying in the clean meat business. Time will tell us how they develop.