Mermade Seafoods raises $3.3 million for lab-grown scallops


In Israel, cultivated seafood startup Mermade Seafoods says it has closed a $3.3-million seed funding to commercialize lab-grown scallops. 

Founded in 2021 by navy veteran Daniel Einhorn and venture capitalists Dr. Rotem Kadir and Dr. Tomer Halevy—company CEO, CTO, and COO, respectively—Mermade’s cellular agricultural process is somewhat unique in that it is also circular. Water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide biowaste from its cultivation process is used to feed algae, which is then repurposed into growth media for sustainable scallops. 

Participants in the funding, which closed in June, includes OurCrowd, Fall Line and Sake Bosch. The funds will enable the company to employ more stem cell and algae researchers to develop its product and reach laboratory-scale production by 2023. Commercialization is tentatively expected in five years. 

“Getting to that lab scale production, we’re talking about a few tenths of a unit, and we want to get that there by 2023,” Einhorn says in a press statement. “We want to drive the cost of scallops down, and we’re looking for a very significant decrease in cost in this round.”

The global market for scallops is $8 billion.