Real Tech Fund Invests in Shiok Meats, the first company developing cell-based meats in SEA
Real Tech Holdings Inc. (Head Office: Tokyo, President: Yukihiro Maru, Akihiko Nagata) has invested in Shiok Meats, a Singapore-based startup developing cell-based crustacean meat (shrimp, crab and lobster) to provide healthy food with a low environmental impact. This is the first investment made through Real Tech Fund and will support Shiok Meats in building collaboration projects with Japanese corporates/startups and research institutions.
The crustacean market today is consistent with many challenges. Not only is it suffering from environmental damages such as tropical deforestation and water pollution, but is also facing issues in false labeling, agricultural waste, and contamination with heavy metals and microplastics. Yet the consumption of crustaceans is increasing year by year, and the global market is estimated to be worth 50B USD by 2020 and 100B USD by 2025. We strongly believe that the current fishing and aquaculture methods will not be able to meet the demands for our next generation.
Shiok is the world’s first cell-based meat company that develops crustaceans, co-founded by Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling in 2018. They announced their cell-based shrimp prototype in 2019, making its first step towards commercialization. The shrimp used in Shiok’s development are cultured in a controlled environment that is researched and developed to eliminate all food-born diseases, bacterial resistance to antibiotics and harmful chemicals. Their product is also expected to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 96%, energy consumption by 45%, land use by 99% and water consumption by 96%.
The biggest challenge for commercialization is reducing the cost. In July 2020, Shiok began a joint research program with one of Real Tech’s portfolio company, Integriculture (Head Office: Tokyo, President: Yuki Hanyu), to tackle this issue. Together, they plan to extend the usage of the CulNet System; a general-purpose large-scale cell culture technology, to crustaceans which has already been validated in cattle and poultry cells. Shiok’s target is to provide their shrimps to high-end restaurants and food processing companies as a luxury product not just in the form of shrimp-flavored pastes and powders, but also as fully formed 3D shrimp.
Other than Real Tech, the current round is led by Aqua-Sparks (Netherlands) who primarily invest in sustainable aquaculture, followed by SEEDs Capital (Singapore) an investment arm of the national government, and Toyo Seikan Group Holdings with a total raise of $12.6M. As Shiok and its team will be facing multiple challenges in technology, marketing and regulatories, all investors form a clear strategic purpose to support Shiok to its best.
Real Tech will not only be supporting Shioks entry to Japan, the world’s 10th largest consumer of crustaceans market at the commercialization stage, but will also accelerate collaboration projects with Japanese corporations / startups and research institutions within the ecosystem. As Shiok being its first investment globally, we will continuously support real tech startups in SouthEast Asia to solve deep-issues facing humanity by ”combining strength” of Japan and SoutEast Asia.
■About Shiok Meats Pte. Ltd.
- Date of Establishment: 28th of August 2018
- Location: 9 Chin Bee Drive #05-01 Innovate 360 Singapore (619860)
- Representative: Dr Sandhya Sriram
- Capital: USD 5M
- Business Activities: Development and production of cell-cultured crustacean meat
- For more Info: https://shiokmeats.com/
- Foreseen Support: Building collaboration projects with Japanese corporates/startups and research institutions
- Date of Investment: September 2020
■ About REAL TECH FUND
REAL TECH FUND is a venture capital fund managed by Real Tech Holdings and its subsidiary Real Tech Japan. It solely invests in deep-tech startups solving societal and environmental issues.
Formal name: Real Tech Fund 1 Investment Limited Partnership (A), Real Tech Fund 2 Investment Limited Partnership (A), Real Tech Fund 3 Investment Limited Partnership (A), Real Tech Global Fund 1 Investment Business Partnership (B)
General Partner: (A) Real Tech Japan L.L.C
Operating Partner: (B) Real Tech Holdings Co.,Ltd.
For more information: https://www.realtech.fund
■ About Real Tech Holdings Co.,Ltd.
Real Tech Holdings support changemakers who give their heart and soul to solve societal and environmental challenges. Real Tech Holdings is a joint venture between euglena Co.,Ltd (https://www.euglena.jp/) and Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. (https://lne.st/).
For more information: https://www.realtech.holdings
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