EMERYVILLE, CALIF. — Cell-cultured seafood company Finless Foods raised $34 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total amount raised to nearly $48 million.
Michael Selden and Brian Wyrwa, co-founders of Finless Foods, launched the company in 2017 to combat the ever-increasing pressure being placed on the ocean and global fisheries, especially key species like bluefin tuna.
“We instinctively identified bluefin tuna as Finless’ first species of focus and priority, both for its conservation opportunity and business strategy,” Mr. Selden said.
The $34 million fundraise comes as the company finalizes construction of a pilot facility in the Bay Area, which will produce its first cell-cultured tuna for market. Finless Foods also is gearing up to launch a plant-based tuna alternative in the foodservice channel nationally this year.
Funds from the round will help the company expand its team with new technical research and development staff and gain regulatory approval for cultured fish. Led by Hanwha Solutions with participation from Japanese seafood company Dainichi Corp, At One Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Justin Kan, Humboldt, Gaingels, Draper Associates, Sustainable Ocean Alliance and SOSV, the Series B round will fuel ongoing investments to reduce the cost of cultured seafood to reach price parity with its conventional counterpart.
“As Finless launches its first products, we are proud of their substantial technical and business progress and look forward to a world where tuna populations can recover worldwide,” said Tom Chi, managing partner At One Ventures. “At One is happy to partner with Hanwha on the next stage of Finless’ growth. Together we look forward to working with Finless to secure distribution around the world.”
To ensure its business strategy, product pipeline and messaging are informed by expertise, Finless created an Impact Board to serve as an internal brain trust of top ocean and sustainable seafood thought leaders. The board currently includes Mike Sutton, a leader in the sustainable seafood movement who helped create the Marine Stewardship Council; Dick Jones, a seafood industry veteran who oversaw seafood operations at Whole Foods Market and HEB Grocery; and Jack Kittinger, a professor at Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory and School of Sustainability who leads Conservation International’s Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Program.