California-based Kuleana, a company that wants to make plant-based produce which will act as the alternative for real seafood. Their first product is plant-based raw tuna. Kulena had rased pre-Seed capital from Good Seed Ventures. There are already a number of companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods that are working the segment.
Launched in 2019 by Jacek Prus who went to an animal ethics class at the University of Texas at Austin that led to the birth of the firm. He traveled to Europe for some study and met Ron Shigeta, a researcher, and entrepreneur in the food science space. The duo along with Barcelona-based food science researcher Sonia Hurtado launched the firm. It was part of YCombinator’s summer class of 2019.
The firm is developing a scaffolding that will recreate the taste and texture of raw fish without the use of 3D printing tech. The firm has already started going to the sushi chefs at restaurants all over the country. It targets to reach the restaurants first and then by the end of 2020, the Kulena product will be seen in the stores as a tuna alternative in sushi rolls and poke bowls at a good price.
The firm has run a couple of taste tests, one in San Francisco while the second in Spain's Barcelona. And as per the company's notes to the investors, they already have orders of over 50,000 pounds of the tuna substitute.
It will be interesting to see how the firm reaches out to the markets and challenge the already big names like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
Image courtesy: next.fish