Aquaculture for all

Sea and Believe makes a splash with their plant-based cod

Consumer Economics People +10 more

Irish food startup Sea and Believe is expected to raise $3 million as it progresses towards its goal of producing a plant-based cod alternative that flakes and tastes like the real thing.

The company is on its way to raising $3 million

Sea and Believe makes flaky plant-based cod fillets and is led by Jennifer O'Brien and Piyali Chakraborty © Sea and Believe

After participating in IndieBio’s accelerator programme, the female-led company has secured commitments for half of the $3 million it is planning to raise. Venture capital firm SOSV, which oversees IndieBio, is among Sea and Believe’s backers.

The startup plans to use the funding to scale its seaweed production and establish a supply chain. They will also begin building a seaweed farm and train fishermen to harvest their crop. According to an article in Vegconomist, the company is also planning to enter the US market.

Sea and Believe was founded by Jennifer O’Brien, who started developing seaweed-based burgers and goujons under the brand name Plantruption. After quickly seeing commercial success, she partnered with food scientist Piyali Chakraborty to develop whole plant-based fish fillets.

The company believes that they have created the first-ever plant-based cod fillet to flake like its farmed and fished counterpart. O’Brien and Chakraborty use native Irish seaweed to create the fillets, saying that the macroalgae has a distinctive taste and texture that lends itself to the project.

“I’m super proud of the accomplishment of actually achieving flaky ‘fish’. No one has been able to achieve this yet and it was truly an important programme milestone for us. Of course, hiring Piyali and other key team members has been another key enabler to setting a strong foundation for growth,” O’Brien told IndieBio.