Bluu Seafood, the Germany-based start-up which makes cultivated fish in a lab, has raised €16m ($17.47m) in Series A funding with the aim of launching in Singapore in 2024.

The food bio-tech company, which was founded in 2020, has now raised more than €23m since its inception.

The funding was led by investment fund Sparkfood and venture capital firm LBBW VC, with backing also coming from German food group Dr. Oetker, among others. Just Food has approached Dr. Oetker for details about its investment in the start-up.

Bluu stated that it will use the funding to advance its technology platform and scale up its cultivated fish production, which it described as “real animal protein directly grown from fish cells without killing the animal”.

The focus will be on hybrid products such as fish balls and fish fingers made from cultivated fish cells blended with plant-based proteins, which Bluu first presented in prototype form in 2022.

The start-up also announced that it has applied for scientific approval to distribute its cultivated seafood products in the US, as well as Singapore by 2024. The south-east Asian country was the first to approve cultivated meat in 2020 with the US now following suit.

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By GlobalData

The company is also currently preparing to open its pilot production plant with construction work to be completed by the end of the year. Bluu said the plant will allow it to scale production by using larger fermenters of up to 500 litres.

Last week, it was revealed cultivated chicken from two US brands Upside Foods and Good Meat was set to become available in the US following regulatory approval from the country’s Department of Agriculture (USDA). Bluu has now initiated the approval process with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) too and will be looking to break into Europe subsequently.

Co-founder and CEO of Bluu Sebastian Rakers said: “Our successful Series A demonstrates the enormous potential that lies in cultivated fish as a platform technology for sustainable animal protein and underlines the strong scientific development that we at Bluu Seafood have delivered so far.

“Together with our strong, international investor base, we can start the next stage of development and bring our first products to market.”

Earlier this week, another European seafood-alternative brand, Hooked, raised over $1m in its latest round, and revealed plans to launch in Germany. The plant-based brand had previously raised €5m in venture financing.