30/4/2019 – The Singaporean based meat replacement startup closes its seed funding with US$4.6M led by Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto.
The fund was joined by Y Combinator, AiiM Partners, Big Idea Ventures, Aera VC, Beyond Impact Advisors, Boom Capital and Entrepreneur First, and others.
This marks Y Combinator’s first investment in the meat replacement industry and Mode Nissin’s second venture into the industry after acquiring Quorn Foods, a meat replacement company based in the U.K.
According to a report from Forbes, Shiok Meats will be strengthening its R&D capacities and adding on bioprocess engineers following the new injection of funds.
Founded in 2018 by Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling, both stem cells scientists, Shiok Meats (Shiok means fantastic and delicious in Singaporean and Malay slang) is looking to create cell-based crustacean meats including shrimp, crab and lobster, as opposed to the red-meat focused meat replacement companies in the west.
“Most clean, cell-based meat companies focus on red meat and poultry, but in Asia – where we are located – we eat a lot of seafood, and we need a clean solution for seafood as well,” explained Ling to Sea-Globe.com “We can’t just keep fishing from the ocean; we have a limited supply, and we can’t keep overfishing.”
The duo has a combined experience of about 20 years in stem cells and have decided to leave their government job to build their own meat replacement company, currently based out of a laboratory.
“All we did in our past life… is study, work with stem cells, and grow these cells in a lab. But not much [of our research] was being translated into actual products and therapies. So it came to a point where we had to decide: where can we best put our skills to use?” Sriram told Sea-Globe.com.
The company is looking to bring their product to the shelves in 3 to 5 years to the Asia Pacific crowd. Starting from Singapore, the meat replacement startup is looking to expanding their business to Hong Kong, India and eventually Australia.