Israel-based foodtech startup Mermade Seafoods has raised $3.3 million (€3.3 million) in an oversubscribed seed round to develop cell-based scallops.
The company said its technology will make it possible to streamline the global scallop market and provide a product at prices lower than conventional supply.
Mermade was founded in July 2021 by CEO Daniel Einhorn, Rotem Kadir and Tomer Halevy.
Investors in the seed round include the investment platform OurCrowd; Fall Line, an American venture capital (VC) fund specializing in AgTech; and prominent Dutch investor Sake Bosch, among others.
Mermade intends to develop its product at laboratory-scale production by 2023 and will use the funds to add more stem cell and algae researchers to its team.
The company expects to develop additional seafood products such as calamari, shrimp and crab meat.
“We decided to focus on scallop as our first product since it's a popular dish all over the world but one that suffers from high prices and shortages due to serious supply chain problems,” said Daniel Einhorn, co-founder and CEO of Mermade Seafoods.
“It's easier to produce in comparison with other more complex meat products, and we can bring it to market relatively quickly."
The global scallop market is worth $8 billion (€8 billion) a year, over $600 million (€598.7 million) of which is in the United States alone.
The production method will make it possible to reduce the cost of each scallop dish and to expand the market's volume by orders of magnitude because supply will finally adjust itself to the high demand, said Einhorn.