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Wildtype cultivated salmon
Cultivated "sushi-grade" salmon. Image credit: Wildtype

Brief: Wildtype reels in $100m to make sushi-grade cultivated salmon ‘ubiquitous’

February 22, 2022

  • Cultivated seafood company Wildtype has raised a $100 million Series B “to make its product ubiquitous,” according to TechCrunch, which broke the news.
  • L Catterton, Cargill, Bezos Expeditions, Temasek, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert Downey Jr’s FootPrint Coalition, among others, participated in the round.
  • Wildtype is currently focused on scaling its sushi-grade cultivated salmon, getting it to price parity with traditional salmon, and getting approval to sell products in the US.

Why it matters:

The San Francisco-based startup launched a pilot facility in the city last year and is betting hard on US distribution in the near future. Last December it signed distribution agreements with grocery store and sushi bar operator Snowfox and quick service restaurant Pokéworks, which will put its products in almost 1,300 stores.

The catch? Wildtype has to get approval to sell its cultivated salmon in the US before it can progress those deals any further. So far, no company developing cell-cultured meat has received such clearance from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Wildtype says it has been in consultation with the FDA since 2019 and is “impressed by the agency’s speed and thoughtfulness in approaching cellular agriculture.” Neither Wildtype nor the FDA has hinted at a specific timeframe for approval.

That elusive approval, along with the need to scale in order to compete in the broader seafood market, are Wildtype’s two biggest challenges for the moment. Progress on these could influence the course of the entire cultivated seafood market, which is still in its early days.

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