Finless Foods closes USD 34 million Series B fundraising round
Emeryville, California, U.S.A.-based cell-cultured and plant-based seafood analog company Finless Foods has closed on USD 34 million (EUR 30.9 million) in a Series B fundraising round.
The company, which plans to launch a plant-based tuna product and complete its construction of a cell-cultured bluefin tuna pilot plant this year, has now raised USD 48 million (EUR 34.7 million) since it was founded in 2017.
“I am excited to swiftly follow up last year's funding round with our Series B to finalize the construction of a pilot facility where Finless will produce its first saleable cell-cultured bluefin tuna for market, due to open in the Bay Area this year,” Finless Foods CEO and Co-Founder Michael Selden said. “We are also gearing up to launch our plant-based tuna into foodservice nationally this year, which will drive revenue into the company, a key milestone for Finless and the industry.”
The fundraising round was led by Hanwha Solutions, an energy services, petrochemical, and real estate development company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Additional investors include Japanese seafood company Dainichi Corp, At One Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Justin Kan, Humboldt, Gaingels, Draper Associates, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, and SOSV, according to Finless Foods.
“Given the climate change facing our planet, we believe cellular agriculture will become the future of food production. For that, we are thrilled to embark on the journey together with Finless,” a Hanwha Solutions spokesperson said in a press release. “With its bold vision and innovative technology, we are confident that our partnership with Finless will accelerate the food revolution and provide a better future for humanity.”
Finless Foods will use the new funding to grow its staff, build its business capabilities, gain regulatory approval for its cell-cultured bluefin tuna product, and push to reduce the price of its bluefin analog “to reach price parity with its conventional equivalent.”
Finless Foods said it hopes to launch its plant-based tuna product nationally into foodservice in the U.S. by mid-2022. The product consists of nine plant-based ingredients that are cooked and seasoned to mimic the taste and texture of tuna, specifically to act as a substitute for raw tuna in dishes like poke and spicy tuna rolls.
“We’ve developed a delicious, versatile product that makes an ideal plant-based substitute for raw tuna,” Selden said. “The feedback received from our culinary partners has been phenomenal, likening the flavor and texture to sushi-grade tuna.”
Finless Foods also is exploring the potential for international distribution to Asia and a possible expansion of its plant-based seafood portfolio;
“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,” At One Ventures Managing Partner Tom Chi said. “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.”
Additionally, Finless Foods has created an advisory board “to serve as an internal brain trust of top ocean and sustainable seafood thought leaders.” Its board currently includes Mike Sutton, who helped create the Marine Stewardship Council and has spent over 30 years working to foster the sustainable seafood movement; Dick Jones, who is a seafood industry veteran and oversaw seafood operations at Whole Foods Market and HEB Grocery; and Jack Kittinger, who currently leads Conservation International’s global fisheries and aquaculture program and is a professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory and School of Sustainability.
Photo courtesy of Finless Foods