SET-listed Thai Union Group Plc, a global seafood conglomerate, has invested in California-based BlueNalu Inc, one of the world's leading cell-based seafood start-ups, joining other industry-leading strategic and financial partners in backing the start-up.
According to Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of Thai Union, Thai Union is an industry leader in innovation and sustainability, and so cell-based seafood perfectly aligns with both of these goals.
BlueNalu and its experienced team are at the forefront of cell-based seafood technology, with strong processing capabilities to scale-up seafood in a sustainable manner.
"We are excited to work with them [BlueNalu] and look forward to exploring collaboration opportunities," said Mr Thiraphong.
BlueNalu, based in California, is one of the world's leading cell-based seafood companies. Cell-based seafood is an innovative way to produce premium fish products directly from the cells of fish and is equivalent to conventional products in terms of its taste, texture and nutritional profile. The firm plans to introduce a wide variety of cell-based seafood products, including mahi mahi and bluefin tuna. BlueNalu will leverage this financing to complete the world's first commercial pilot facility for producing cell-based seafood as well as market launch plans in late 2021.
Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu's co-founder, president and CEO, said the firm is thrilled that BlueNalu is the first investment that Thai Union has made in the cell-based foods sector. Thai Union's investment in BlueNalu represents an investment in the future of food and their commitment to innovation.
"We look forward to exploring various ways in which we will complement Thai Union's position as one of the largest seafood operators globally," he said.
Thai Union's venture fund was launched in 2019 with an initial commitment of US$30 million and focuses its investments on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition and new technologies along the food value chain. Thai Union is investing in early-stage entrepreneurial firms that are active in these areas and will actively partner with these firms to support and accelerate their development.