Asia’s Cultivated Fish Company Avant Closes a $10.8 Million Series A

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Greater China’s first cultivated seafood startup Avant has closed its Series A funding round of nearly $11 million.

Hong-Kong-based Avant launched in 2018 and closed a $3.1 million seed fund at the end of 2020. It was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum last year. The company boasts a patent-pending proprietary technology. The new round was led by S2G Ventures and includes participation from Blue Ocean of SWEN Capital Partners, Regal Hotels, and Thia Ventures, as well as existing investors including Lever VC, CPT Capital, ParticleX, Artesian, Good Startup, and Alwyn Capital.

Courtesy, Avant

“We are very grateful for the huge support of new investors and the ongoing commitment from existing investors,” Carrie Chan, CEO and Co-founder at Avant, said in a statement. “We look forward to scaling up production for commercialization and sending our products to customers by late 2023.”

“We are excited to support Avant in its mission to sustainably address the global demand for seafood with cutting-edge innovations,” said Larsen Mettler, Managing Director at S2G Ventures Oceans and Seafood. “Avant has a highly dedicated team and international group of co-investors who are ready to tackle overfishing and responsibly feed markets around the world.”

Disrupting the seafood industry

Avant says it’s working to replace seafood products to help protect the oceans while offering “delicious, nutritious, sustainable, traceable fish and seafood.”

“We are delighted to continue to back Avant, a leading cultivated fish company with a great track record and a strong base in Asia, the world’s biggest seafood market and the most important one for global impact,” said Nick Cooney, Founder and Managing Partner of Lever VC.

China is one of the largest seafood-consuming nations—consuming more than two million tons per year.

Courtesy, Avant

“Fishing practices are emptying the oceans at a rate of 1-2 trillion fish per year, with nearly 90 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted,” Avant says. “Simultaneously, the consumption of fish is rising at a rapid rate. World food fish consumption in 2030 is projected to rise by 18 percent from 2018.”

The seafood market

The current global fish and seafood market is valued at more than $580 billion, with a CAGR of 5.3 percent expected through 2027.

Avant says it has developed a multi-pronged approach to address the costs to scale, which includes its patent-pending technology. It says it’s able to reduce costs by 90 percent. It’s also doing it with an animal-free growth medium. The company is now working to open a pilot plant in Singapore next year with bioreactors that can produce up to 2,000 liters.

Cultivated fish filets and fish maw are expected to be Avant’s first products to market once it receives regulatory approval. The company is also working on a marine peptide for use in skincare.

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