SAN FRANCISCO — Wildtype, a startup developing cellular agriculture technology to grow sushi-grade salmon, raised $100 million in a Series B funding round, the largest to date in the cultivated seafood space, according to the company.
Co-founded by Aryé Elfenbein and Justin Kolbeck, Wildtype’s process involves isolating cells from salmon found along the Pacific Coast, which are grown in cultivators similar to those found in breweries. Its salmon is free of mercury, microplastic, antibiotics and other common contaminants.
Wildtype last year unveiled its sushi-grade salmon and opened a pilot production plant in San Francisco. It will use funds from the Series B round to expand production capacity as it prepares for its market launch in the United States. The company plans to launch its cultivated salmon through partnerships with fine dining restaurants following the completion of the FDA’s pre-market consultation process.
“This investment provides us with the capital necessary to dramatically expand our production capabilities to match the rapid growth in awareness and demand for cultivated seafood,” Mr. Kolbeck said. “Whether you are looking for mercury and microplastic-free seafood options, or trying to eat more sustainably, we want Wildtype seafood to be accessible to as many people as possible.”
The round was led by L Catterton, and includes investments from Leonardo DiCaprio, Bezos Expeditions, Temasek, S2G Ventures Oceans and Seafood Fund, Robert Downey Jr.'s FootPrint Coalition, Cargill and several chefs and professional athletes. Existing investors Spark Capital and CRV also participated in the round, which brings Wildtype’s total funding to more than $120 million.“Wildtype is a brand that stands alone due to its technology and product quality,” said Jon Owsley, managing partner in L Catterton’s Growth Fund. “We are on the cusp of a consumer revolution around cultivated proteins, and Wildtype is well-positioned to play a leading role in this transformation, starting with salmon.”