Slaughter-free seafood startup BlueNalu secured $4.5 million in seed round funding led by mission-driver investment firm New Crop Capital. The company, which launched only two months ago, is working to displace traditionally raised and caught seafood with “cellular aquaculture”—where a small amount of fish cells are used to make “clean meat” in a laboratory setting. “It’s time to rethink seafood and how we can sustainably feed our global population in the decades ahead,” BlueBalu CEO Lou Cooperhouse said. The startup will use the funding to perfect its technology platform, secure key distribution partnerships, and move its products toward commercialization in the coming years. “This is the largest seed round to date in this category, and one of the largest that has occurred globally in the entire ‘clean meat’ space,” New Crop Capital Chief Investment Officer Chris Kerr said. “We are very excited at the market potential for BlueNalu and its ability to offer consumers an alternative to conventional animal sources that today originate only in our oceans and seas.” Plant-based companies are also garnering support from the investment community, including vegan seafood brand Good Catch Foods, which secured $8.7 million in new funding this month, partially from Europe’s largest poultry producer, PHW Group.

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