“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,” said Michael Selden, CEO and co-founder of Finless Foods, in a press release.
“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,” he added.
The company says that it aims to use the investment to:
- Launch its plant-based tuna nationally into foodservice, explore international distribution in Asia and expand its plant-based seafood portfolio.
- Expand its team, deepening the technical research and development staff and further building out the business capabilities to grow the company from R&D to a food company.
- Gain regulatory approval for its cell-cultured bluefin tuna, enabling it to be sold and consumed.
- Lead the industry in reducing the price of cell-cultured bluefin tuna to reach price parity with its conventional equivalent.
The funding round was led by Hanwha Solutions and brings the startup’s total raised to nearly $48 million since 2017. 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.
After learning about the ever-increasing pressure being placed on the ocean and global fisheries, especially on key species of concern like bluefin tuna, Selden and Brian Wyrwas founded the company around a single guiding mission — to create a future for seafood where the ocean thrives.
“We instinctively identified bluefin tuna as Finless’ first species of focus and priority, both for its conservation opportunity and business strategy,” reflected Selden.
To ensure it is informed by expertise, Finless created an "impact board". This currently includes: Mike Sutton, who helped create the Marine Stewardship Council; Dick Jones, who oversaw seafood operations at Whole Foods Market and HEB Grocery; and Jack Kittinger, who currently leads Conservation International’s global fisheries and aquaculture programme.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Hanwha Solutions. “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 is part of Hatch's investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence.