Shiok Meat Bags $12.6M Series A Funding For Pilot Plant, Now SE Asia’s Most Valuable Cell-Based Startup

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Singapore-based cultivated shrimp startup Shiok Meats has just announced the closing of a US$12.6 million Series A funding round. The food tech says that the capital will go towards building the first commercial pilot plant to produce cell-based minced shrimp in 2022, taking the company yet another step forward to become the world’s first to bring cultivated crustacean to market. 

Today, Shiok Meats revealed it has raised US$12.6 million in its Series A financing round led by Dutch sustainable aquaculture-focused investment fund Aqua-Spark. Other investors participating in the round include Enterprise Singapore’s investment arm SEEDS Capital, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry-backed Real Tech Fund, Seoul-based impact VC Yellowdog, VegInvest, Beyond Impact and more. The latest capital injection follows the company’s US$3 million bridge funding round secured earlier in June this year and the seed round of US$4.6 million led by Henry Soesanto, CEO of Monde Nissin in May 2019– at the time the largest seed for an Asia-based cultivated food tech startup. This brings the startup’s total coffers to over US$20 million. 

“We are really excited to be on the forefront of cell-based meats in SE Asia,” co-founder Dr. Sandhya Sriram told Green Queen. “We are looking forward to this industry pulling in a lot more investment and launching products in the near future.”

Shiok Meats says that the funds will go towards the construction of its first commercial pilot facility, where Shiok will launch its sustainable, traceable cultivated minced shrimp product in 2022. It will put the Singapore food tech on track to become the world’s first to launch a fully-functional commercial pilot plant dedicated to cell-based crustacean production.

Shiok Meats co-founders Dr. Ka Yi Ling (L) & Dr. Sandhya Sriram (R)

We are really excited to be on the forefront of cell-based meats in SE Asia. We are looking forward to this industry pulling in a lot more investment and launching products in the near future.

Dr. Sandhya Sriram, Co-Founder & CEO Shiok Meats

According to the startup, cell-based production of seafood could reduce the problematic aquaculture industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 96%, energy consumption by 45% and water consumption by 96%.

“The cell-based animal protein industry has been on our radar for some time as once it is at scale it will have an enormous influence on food production efficiency, food safety, and the environment,” said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark, in a press release. 

“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.”

“Aqua-Spark was the perfect partner to lead our Series A because they care deeply about funding companies that address planetary health and food security,” added Shiok Meats co-founders Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling. “With their help, we hope to become the global leader in cell-based crustaceans and seafood.”

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.

Mike Velings & Amy Novogratz, Co-Founders of Aqua-Spark

Since its inception in 2018, the company has already successfully cultivated a shrimp product that has been sampled in the highly popular Asian dish shrimp dumplings or siu mai last year. Shiok Meats’ technology has recently won them a spot on Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative companies in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Looking ahead, Shiok Meats will not only be producing cell-based shrimp meat, but are also eyeing more products, including cell-based shrimp flavouring paste and powder, a fully-formed 3D structured shrimp product, as well as cell-based lobster and crab in the coming years. 


All images courtesy of Shiok Meats.


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