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UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats merge to establish a leading global cultivated seafood platform

March 12, 2024

UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats have announced the proposed merger of the two cultivated seafood pioneers, establishing the combined entity as a global leader in the burgeoning cultivated seafood market. This 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, this merger leverages the unique strengths of UMAMI Bioworks' innovative production platform and enabling technologies and Shiok Meats' pioneering research in crustacean cell cultivation. Based in Singapore, both entities anticipate synergies that will enhance go-to-market efficiencies, expand commercial opportunities, and accelerate regulatory approvals and market introduction of cultivated seafood products.

UMAMI Bioworks’ CEO Mihir Pershad (pictured) will head up the newly unified company as CEO, with a Board of Directors that will include global seafood investment leaders Hatch Blue and AquaSpark.

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

Dr Sandhya Sriram, Group CEO & Co-founder of Shiok Meats, expressed enthusiasm for the merger's potential to significantly impact the global seafood market. “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 over 100 commonly consumed fish species on the IUCN Red List. UMAMI Bioworks and Shiok Meats are now together 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.

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