Home Sustainability UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats merging to create global cultivated seafood company

UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats merging to create global cultivated seafood company

Photo: João Gonçalves/Pixabay

UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats have announced the proposed merger of the two cultivated seafood companies.

The strategic combination, the first of its kind in the cultivated seafood space, aims to expedite the journey towards scalable production of sustainable, cultivated seafood alternatives.

Targeted for swift completion, the merger leverages UMAMI Bioworks’ production platform and enabling technologies and Shiok Meats’ research in crustacean cell cultivation. Based in Singapore, both entities said they anticipate synergies to enhance go-to-market efficiencies, expand commercial opportunities, and accelerate regulatory approvals and market introduction of cultivated seafood products.

UMAMI Bioworks’ CEO Mihir Pershad will head up the newly-unified company as CEO, with a board of directors that will include global seafood investment leaders Hatch Blue and Aqua-Spark.

“Uniting UMAMI’s platform technologies around continuous biomanufacturing and machine learning-based automation with Shiok Meats’ groundbreaking crustacean work offers an expedited path to the cultivation of a range of sustainable seafood products,” said Pershad.

“The technological and business synergies of this merger represent a vital strategic step towards addressing the critical challenges of cultivated seafood production and advancing our mission to supply sustainable, not-caught seafood without compromising the planet’s health.”

Sandhya Sriram, group CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats, said: “By bringing together these two iconic companies, we are creating a strong platform to make the vision of cultivated seafood a reality. The combined business means increased scale and speed to market in Asia and globally. The strong technology and team Umami has built will be the perfect custodian of the progress Shiok Meats has made on crustaceans, especially with our patent recently granted in the EU. I have always believed in consolidation to progress a novel industry like ours. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organization will achieve.”

The urgency for sustainable seafood solutions is underscored by the rapid increase in global seafood demand and the critical status of more than 100 commonly-consumed fish species on the IUCN Red List. UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats said they are committed to innovating within this space, providing consumers with mercury-free, nutritious, and culturally relevant seafood alternatives, thereby contributing to the regeneration of marine ecosystems.

Further details about the merger will be disclosed following the transaction’s closure.

About UMAMI Bioworks

UMAMI Bioworks is a Singapore-headquartered company with a standardized, modular, and automated production platform for cultivating ‘not caught’ seafood. It uses stem cell biology, machine learning, and automation to create the operating system for cultivated seafood production, empowering traditional seafood suppliers to produce a stable, resilient, local supply of culturally relevant seafood products free from mercury, antibiotics, microplastics, and ocean pollutants.

Shiok Meats

Shiok Meats is a cultivated meat and seafood company – the first of its kind in Singapore and South-East Asia. Shiok in Singapore and Malay slang means fantastic, delicious, and pleasure. Shiok Meats also owns SEA’s first cultivated red meat company, Gaia Foods. Its mission is to use technology to grow meat from healthy cells instead of animals. To date, Shiok has conducted R&D on crustaceans like shrimps, crabs, and lobsters and is the first in the world to do so using cellular agriculture technology.

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