In a big step towards transforming the landscape of sustainable seafood production, Wanda Fish Technologies, a pioneering FoodTech start-up, has just announced the securing of USD $7 million in seed funding.
This milestone comes on the heels of an initial pre-seed investment, bringing Wanda Fish’s total funding to USD $10 million.
The funding round was spearheaded by the renowned aquaculture investment fund, Aqua-Spark, based in the Netherlands.
This infusion of capital is set to fuel Wanda Fish’s ongoing efforts to expedite the production of cultivated whole-cut filets of bluefin tuna.
“We are excited and feel incredibly fortunate to collaborate with Aqua-Spark in propelling our venture forward. We are on a shared mission to improve the global food value chain, creating a tasty, more sustainable future for all.
This financial backing by leading global venture funds gives us significant leverage to make sustainably cultivated, cruelty-free, and ocean-friendly bluefin tuna a reality.” – Daphna Heffetz, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Wanda Fish.
The Challenge of Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin tuna, prized for its nutritional content, texture, and flavor, has long been a sought-after delicacy, particularly among high-end sushi establishments.
However, this magnificent species faces multiple challenges, from overfishing pushing it to the brink of endangerment to the unsustainable nature of traditional tuna farming practices.
Governments worldwide have responded by imposing stringent fishing quotas to protect dwindling populations.
Meanwhile, the oceans’ pollution crisis has left bluefin tuna, like many marine species, contaminated with plastics and high levels of mercury, further intensifying the need for a sustainable alternative.
The Wanda Fish Approach
Wanda Fish Technologies, founded in 2021 by The Kitchen Hub and biotechnology pioneer Daphna Heffetz, is at the forefront of innovation in sustainable seafood.
Their focus is on developing premium-quality, cultivated fish that thrive outside of the conventional ocean environment.
With the newly secured funding, Wanda Fish aims to revolutionize bluefin tuna production by creating whole-cut cultivated filets that replicate the authentic experience of wild-caught bluefin tuna.
“In such a burgeoning and innovative sector, we are pleased to welcome Wanda Fish into our portfolio of companies based on the remarkable speed with which they’ve met significant milestones.
We firmly believe in a future where sustainably farmed and cultivated seafood will work in concert with one another to alleviate the burden of overfishing, especially species like bluefin tuna which are deemed unsustainable to farm.” – Lissy Smit, CEO of Aqua-Spark
A Cleaner, Sustainable Solution
One of the key advantages of Wanda Fish’s approach is the elimination of common ocean pollutants, such as mercury, from the cultivated bluefin tuna.
Produced under stringent non-GMO standards, their fish offer a cleaner, more sustainable source of this prized species.
This shift toward a controlled, land-based cultivation process addresses the ecological challenges associated with traditional tuna farming.
Precision and Diversity in Production
Wanda Fish has made significant strides in key developmental breakthroughs that bring them closer to achieving a whole-cut bluefin tuna prototype.
Their cutting-edge technology enables the creation of a 3D filet structure using bluefin tuna cells, differentiating them into both muscle and fat tissues.
This level of precision allows them to control fat levels in their products, resulting in a diverse range of filet cuts, including the highly sought-after Toro premium cut.
About Wanda Fish
Wanda Fish Technologies is a company leading the charge toward a more sustainable future for ocean seafood. Leveraging disruptive technologies, they are pioneering the production of whole-cut cultivated premium fish filets outside of traditional ocean-based harvesting methods.
Their flagship product in development, the whole-cut cultivated bluefin tuna filet, encapsulates the authentic texture, flavor, and nutritional richness of wild-caught fish.
Meet the Team
The Wanda Fish team comprises a multidisciplinary group of highly skilled professionals. Co-Founder and CEO Daphna Heffetz, Ph.D., brings over two decades of experience in establishing and growing biotechnology companies.
Dr. Malkiel Cohen, VP of R&D at Wanda Fish, is a recognized expert in stem cell technology and genomic engineering, while Yaron Sfadyah, VP of Business Development at Wanda Fish, boasts over a decade of global marketing and business development experience.
In an exclusive licensing and sponsored research agreement with Tufts University in Boston, Wanda Fish collaborates closely with Dr. David Kaplan, a world-leading academic authority in cellular agriculture.
Aqua-Spark is a global investment fund with a presence in 22 countries and investors spanning 33 countries. Their mission is to curate a portfolio of solutions across the aquaculture value chain, with the ultimate goal of revolutionizing the industry into one that is healthier, more sustainable, and more accessible.
Currently managing nearly EUR 500 million in assets, Aqua-Spark’s investments are carefully selected for their potential to yield financial returns while simultaneously promoting positive environmental and social outcomes.
Their leadership in the recent seed funding round underscores their commitment to driving transformative change in aquaculture.
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