Aqua Cultured Foods, a Chicago, IL-based food tech startup, raised $5.5M in Seed funding.
The round was led by Stray Dog Capital, with participation from H Venture Partners, Aztec Capital Management and Amplifica Capital, along current investors Supply Change Capital, Big Idea Ventures, HPA, Aera VC, Kingfisher Family Investments, and Swiss Pampa. The round also included a strategic investment from CJ CheilJedang.
The company intends to use the funds to equip its new facility, scale up production, bring products to market, add key talent, and expand its roster of restaurant and foodservice outlets for product introductions this year.
Led by CEO Anne Palermo, Aqua Cultured Foods is a food technology startup developing whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through microbial fermentation. The company is developing calamari, shrimp, scallops, and filets of tuna and whitefish with proprietary mycoprotein fermentation processes that do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering or modification. Its alt-seafood retains its naturally occurring fiber, protein, and other micronutrients. The company also produces minced “seafood” fillings for applications such as dumplings, ravioli, and sushi rolls.
Aqua Cultured Foods recently acquired a food-grade facility that was already built out nearly to its requirements—which it estimates will save more than a million dollars in construction costs.