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HomeAsiaShiok Meats CEO Sandhya Sriram to resign following merger with Umami Bioworks

Shiok Meats CEO Sandhya Sriram to resign following merger with Umami Bioworks

Shiok Meats co-founder and Group CEO Sandhya Sriram

Singapore-based crustacean meat startup Shiok Meats has merged with cultivated seafood company Umami Bioworks.

The details of the merger are undisclosed.

As per a news report, Umami Bioworks, led by CEO Mihir Pershad, will spearhead the merged entity. Shiok Meats’s co-founder and CEO Sandhya Sriram will depart.

Also Read: Shiok Meats wants to bring cruelty-free shrimp products to your dining table with its US$12.6M Series A

The Shiok Meats brand will be retained, and its employees will join Umami Bioworks.

This merger comes at a time when regulatory approvals and commercialisation are on the horizon for the cultivated seafood industry, with Umami having already submitted initial regulatory documents and secured preliminary customers. The combined entity plans to leverage its strengths to expedite these processes.

Umami will continue the work Shiok Meats has done on cultivating crustacean seafood, including lobster, shrimp, and crab.

The initial market launch will likely involve hybrid products, combining cultivated fish cells with plant-based ingredients.

The merger is expected to enhance Umami’s go-to-market strategy, broaden commercial opportunities, and accelerate regulatory approvals. Integration efforts are underway, with plans to consolidate resources and establish dedicated centres for cell lines, media, and bioprocess research and development.

Also Read: Umami Meats secures US$2.4M seed funding to scale its cultivated seafood business in Singapore

Founded in August 2018 by stem cell scientists Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling (CTO), Shiok claims to be the first cell-based meat company in Southeast Asia and the first and only cell-based meat company working on shrimp. It is working to bring cell-based crustacean meats (shrimp, crab, lobster) to the kitchen. Its meats are cruelty-free, healthy, and better for the environment with the same taste and texture and more nutrients than their traditional counterparts.

The startup stands out from other cell-based meat production companies because of its proprietary technology that isolates stem cells from shrimp, lobster, and crab. Once the stem cells are harvested, the shrimp, lobster, and crab meats are grown in nutrient-rich conditions, similar to that of a greenhouse.

In 2020, Shiok Meats raised US$12.6 million in a Series A funding round, led by Aqua-Spark, an investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture.

Umami Bioworks (earlier known as Umami Meats) produces nutritious, affordable cultivated seafood. The startup claims its cultivated, not-caught seafood offers equivalent nutrition to traditional seafood and provides a delicious culinary experience free from heavy metals, antibiotics, and microplastics.

In 2022, Umami secured pre-seed funding of US$2.4 million co-led by Better Bite Ventures and Genedant.

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