REHOVOT, ISRAEL — Plantish, a maker of plant-based fish alternatives, raised $12.45 million in seed funding, the largest seed round to date in the alternative seafood market, according to the company.
The Israel-based startup was founded in mid-2021 by a mix of serial entrepreneurs, food technology executives and bioengineering and chemistry PhDs. The group includes Eyal Briller, former director of product at Impossible Foods; Ofek Ron, former general manager of Vegan Friendly; and Ron Sicsic, founder of Enviro Advanced Energy; plus bioengineering expert Ariel Szklanny and chemistry expert Hila Elimelech.
Plantish is developing a patent-pending additive manufacturing technology for creating whole-cut plant-based fish fillets. By deconstructing fish to understand its different components, the company is able to create plant-based connective and muscle tissue.
The first product from Plantish will be a salmon alternative. The current prototype mimics cooked salmon in taste, texture, appearance and structure while offering the same protein and omega-3 content as its conventional counterpart, according to the company.
“We love fish and are not trying to change what consumers want,” Mr. Ron said. “We are just offering a delicious upgrade to salmon that is safer for you and better for the planet. No antibiotics, no hormones, no mercury, no bycatch and no compromise.”
Plantish will use funds from its $12.45 million seed round to grow its team and accelerate product development. It plans to launch its salmon alternative in pop-up locations by the end of 2022, with an official nationwide launch in restaurants slated for 2024.
“We understand that over 60% of seafood is eaten outside the home, and salmon is among the most popular fish and animal protein in the world,” Mr. Ron said. “Therefore, we are focusing our efforts on the foodservice route, and you can expect to see us in fine dining restaurants within the next two years.”The round was led by State Of Mind Ventures, with participation from Pitango Health Tech, Unovis Capital, TechAviv Founder Partners, SmartAgro, E2JDJ, Alumni Ventures and OurCrowd.