USA – BlueNalu, a California-based food technology company developing cell-based seafood products, has announced several key strategic developments including a substantial expansion of the company’s operations.
The food-tech start-up, which raised US$20 million in a Series A funding round earlier this year, has signed a lease for an expansion to its administrative, research, development and manufacturing space with a new facility in San Diego that is more than 38,000 sq. feet, a six-fold increase over its current space.
BlueNalu said that the larger facility will includes a Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) pilot-scale food production plant that will be designed for the commercial production of its various cell-based seafood products in its initial test markets.
The alternative meat company added that the new location will also feature the first BlueNalu kitchen and demonstration space, providing up-close-and-personal culinary experiences with cutting-edge chefs and sustainable seafood ambassadors, as well as a peek into its production process.
The additional capabilities will enable BlueNalu to continue developing its platform technology that enables production of a broad array of marine species, initially focusing on finfish including mahi mahi, red snapper, tuna, and yellowtail.
BlueNalu is developing cell-based seafood products as a healthy, humane, and sustainable alternative to seafood. The company says that its products will be free of harmful levels of mercury, pathogens, parasites, microplastics, and other environmental contaminants.
Markedly, BlueNalu’s products are designed to have the same taste, texture, and performance as conventional seafood in all cooking and preparation methods.
Commenting on the capacity expansion Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of BlueNalu said: “The announcement of this new facility is an exciting milestone for BlueNalu, as it is our intent to launch our products in the marketplace during the second-half of 2021.”
The company has also announced the hiring of a new Chief Financial Officer and additional key hires to prepare the company for initial market test.
BlueNalu has appointed Amir Feder as its CFO who will work closely with Cooperhouse on investor relations, corporate governance and the company’s long-term corporate strategy.
Amir Feder bring to the startup an extensive background in corporate finance with more than 20 years of experience supporting founder-led innovative organizations through rapid development, including in the tech, media, entertainment and real estate industries.
Most recently, he was CFO of Hughes Marino, a Southern California based commercial real estate firm, where he led all aspects of the firm’s finances and partnered with the executive team to optimize margins and target strategic acquisitions. Previously, Feder was the Global CFO of Droga5.
“I am thrilled to join the BlueNalu team as CFO. It is a privilege to participate in this dynamic and market-disrupting company and fulfill BlueNalu’s vision to positively impact global food security, ocean conservation and human health through innovation,” said Amir Feder, the new CFO of BlueNalu.
“With our new larger facility and the impressive developments in our technology, this initiates phase three of our five-phase commercialization strategy. It is an exciting time as we are leading a new category of food innovation and poised for a successful market launch.”
BlueNalu also revealed that it has expanded its team in its project management, technology, product development, and engineering areas, and anticipates doubling its staff to approximately 50 team members during the next 9-12 months.
Cooperhouse added that the company is continually exploring opportunities for growth, and proactively investigating the expansive opportunities for its cellular aquaculture process.
“We have developed an internal think tank, BlueNalu Innovations, to explore these opportunities, and implement the collaborations and partnerships that will help us to realize the breadth of our vision,” he explained.
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