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Shiok Meats co-founders
Shiok Meats co-founders Ka Yi Ling (L) and Sandhya Sriram (R). Image credit: Shiok Meats

Shiok Meats adds Asian food industry giants to cap table in latest funding round

July 21, 2021

Shiok Meats has closed a bridge financing involving several major food companies. While the cell-cultured seafood startup didn’t disclose how much it has raised, it said the round takes its total funding to date to $30 million.

AFN estimates that Shiok Meats raised in the region of $10 million for the bridge round, based on AgFunder data.

South Korean food delivery giant Woowa Brothers participated in the raise, alongside its compatriot, food manufacturer CJ CheilJedang, and Vietnamese seafood exporter Vinh Hoan.

Also joining were several of Shiok Meats’ existing investors, including Japan’s Toyo Seikan; Australia’s Twynam Investments; Switzerland’s Beyond Impact; the UAE’s Mindshift Capital; South Korea’s Irongrey; Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto; and Big Idea Ventures, Boom Capital, and The Alexander Payne Living Trust, all based in the US.

The Singapore-based startup has also secured a grant under Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG Tech Proof-of-Value scheme to accelerate development and commercialization of its technology.

Co-founder and CEO Sandhya Sriram told AFN that the startup is expecting to close a full Series B round sometime next year.

The bridge funding “is more of a strategic partnership round; rather than [being about] the funding amount per se, it’s a vote of confidence and commitment from our new investors to building a sustainable future of food,” she said.

“South Korea is an important prospective market for us and both Woowa Brothers and CJ are successful players in the Korean food industry. Through this partnership, we are expecting strategic advisory and support as we plan our next steps in this market.”

Vinh Hoan — which has also invested in Hong Kong cultivated seafood startup Avant Meats — “has a longstanding repute for embracing innovation while being one of the largest processors and exporters of fresh and frozen seafood,” she added.

Sriram said the funds will be used to “advance our R&D efforts and build a state-of-the-art production facility in Singapore” and to “expand operations, collaborations, and also work on vertical and horizontal integration within the alternative protein industry.”

“We will have our first production facility up and running and launch our commercial product latest by 2023. [The facility] will be used for all crustaceans – shrimp, lobster, crab, prawn, and crayfish.”

Shiok Meats has partnered with Japanese cellular ag startup IntegriCulture to explore ways of scaling up production of cultured shrimp [disclosure: AFN‘s parent company AgFunder is an investor in IntegriCulture.] 

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