Berlin, March 26th, 2021. Berlin-based biotech startup Bluu Biosciences has closed its seed funding round at 7 million euros less than ten months after its foundation. Bluu Biosciences is the first company in Europe to specialize in the development and production of cell-based fish. There is currently only a hand full of other companies active in this field worldwide. Leading global food and impact investors such as Manta Ray Ventures (UK), CPT Capital (UK), Lever VC (USA), Norrsken (SE) and Be8 (GER) participated in the investment round. The fresh capital will flow into the company's intensive biotechnology research and development work as well as into product development. The founding of Bluu Biosciences was supported by the Berlin-based company builder EVIG, which specializes in working with scientists to build biotechnology start-ups in the food sector.
“We are proud that we could partner with investors such as Manta Ray, CPT, Lever, and more, that believe in the importance of deep innovation for the aim of a more sustainable food system,” explained Dr Sebastian Rakers, co-founder and managing director of Bluu Biosciences. “The round was closed in a matter of weeks, which indicates how compelling the science team and the science foundation of Bluu is. It also showcases the incredible interest of great investors to support this kind of initiative,” Simon Fabich, Co-Founder and managing director, added. The Cultivated Meat sector, where there are already initial approvals for cultivated meat products in Singapore, is fuelling the prospects for a similarly positive development in cell-based fish products.
Cultivated Fish – sustainable protein source for future supply security
Cell-based or cultivated fish is sustainable fish meat produced from fish cells that is grown in a bioreactor. It is an animal product that, unlike wild-caught fish, is obtained without compromising animal welfare. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about 90 percent of all edible fish stocks are already considered maximally exploited or overfished, while demand continues to rise as the world's population grows (source: FAO, 2020). More and more people are relying on fish as their primary source of protein. Producing cell-based fish without harming the ecosystem and at competitive prices can make a critical contribution to global animal protein supply security in the future. "Cultivated fish has the potential to feed a large portion of humanity. Our task is to rapidly operationalize the findings from biotechnological research to leverage this potential,” emphasized Sebastian Rakers.
Other advantages of cultivated fish include its high nutritional value, the absence of pollutants, its availability even in places without access to the sea and the associated short supply chains. The production process is resource-friendly and has a significantly lower CO2 footprint as well as water and energy consumption compared to the conventional fish processing industry. Moreover, cell-based fish is the answer to industrial fish farming, as it will be able to save trillions of fish lives.
Research & Development at the highest level
“Bluu Biosciences has set out to produce tasty and nutrient-optimized fish products from fish cells that are free of genetic engineering, antibiotics and environmental toxins," said Rakers. “Above all, that means intensive research and development work to develop the optimal fish cell lines for subsequent production. Bluu is in the excellent position of using proprietary technologies and non-gmo immortalized cell lines to achieve that.” Bluu Biosciences cooperates closely with the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Engineering (EMB) in Lübeck in this endeavour and has a state-of-the-art R&D environment at its disposal. Further partnerships for nutrient media optimization and bioreactor development are planned.
About Bluu GmbH (Bluu Biosciences)
Biotech company Bluu Biosciences is the first company in Europe to specialize in the development and commercial production of cell-based fish. As a pioneer at the interface of biotechnology and food technology, Bluu Biosciences is stepping up to produce high-quality, sustainable fish products from cell cultures, that feature high nutritional value and a premium flavour profile. The aim is to produce fish sustainably and cost-efficiently, thus making a significant contribution to securing the future supply of animal protein for mankind. The biotech, based in Berlin and Lübeck, was founded in 2020 by Dr Sebastian Rakers and Simon Fabich with an expert team of marine biologists, cell biologists, cell and tissue engineers, and food technologists. In R&D, Bluu Biosciences closely cooperates with the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Engineering (EMB) in Lübeck and has a state-of-the-art R&D environment. More information at www.bluu.bio
About EVIG Group
EVIG Group is a company builder and impact investor in the alternative protein space. Together with pioneering scientists and entrepreneurs, EVIG builds and invests in companies to transform the global food system. EVIG’s focus is on approaches that have technology and science at their core, while having the potential to truly displace animal-derived products. More information at www.evig.group