Millions for mushroom mycelium-based seafood

Millions for mushroom mycelium-based seafood

The Berlin and Leipzig-based start-up Pacifico Biolabs has raised 3.3 million US dollars in a financing round for the development of alternative fish and seafood.

Washington Logroño (links) und Zac Austin gründeten Pacifico Biolabs im Jahr 2022.
Washington Logroño (left) and Zac Austin founded Pacifico Biolabs in 2022.

The market for alternative proteins in fish products and seafood is developing dynamically. The biotech start-up Pacifico Biolabs uses fungi to produce sustainable and nutritious fish alternatives - specifically, the foodtech company relies on the thread-like network of fungi, the mycelium, to transform biomass into innovative foods. With the help of its fermentation technology, the company, which was founded in 2022, aims to produce a wholesome alternative to fish products and seafood.

The start-up was able to inspire investors with this idea and raised 3.3 million US dollars in a financing round. The pre-seed financing round was led by foodtech venture capital investors Simon Capital and FoodLabs, with participation from Exceptional Ventures and Sprout & About Ventures.

Scaling fermentation technology

The company plans to use the money to further develop its fermentation technology, strengthen its team and launch its first products on the market. "Our technology was developed with the goal of solving many of the challenges faced by both plant-based and fermentation companies in the alternative protein space," Zac Austin, CEO of the start-up, told the business magazine vegconomist. "With the support of our expert investors, this funding will allow us to effectively scale our solution and set the stage for launching our products across Europe."

Microbially produced whole muscle structures

Pacifico Biolabs was founded in November 2022 by Washington Logrono and Zac Austin. The aim of the company, which has sites in Berlin and Leipzig, is to produce "whole muscle structures" through microbial fermentation. At the Food Venture Summit 2023 organized by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an EU agency, Pacifico Biolabs was one of the winners in the "Net-Zero Food System" category.

The example of Ordinary Seafood shows that financing success is currently not guaranteed in the booming food tech scene: the Potsdam-based start-up, which specializes in vegan salmon and tuna alternatives, recently had to cease operations due to financing difficulties despite its market presence.