BlueNalus cell-based, cell-based yellowtail amberjack.

Source: BlueNalu

First, it was laboratory-grown chicken. Now it’s seafood.

San Diego-based food startup BlueNalu announced Tuesday that it has raised $ 60 million in convertible bond financing to prepare for a possible launch later this year.

“This latest funding will allow us to move forward with our mission and the next phase of our commercialization plans as we continue to develop strategic partnerships that we expect will give us global market reach in the years to come,” said Lou Cooperhouse, President from BlueNalu and CEO said in a statement.

BlueNalu intends to use the funds to complete regulatory review with the Food and Drug Administration and begin testing its products at various food service locations across the United States. The company has not disclosed the names of any food service partners.

There are also plans to open a nearly 40,000 square meter pilot production facility.

Rage Capital led this funding round. Agronomics, Lewis & Clark AgriFood, McWin, KBW Ventures and Siddhi Capital also participated.

Cell-based or cultured seafood is made by extracting cells from fish and growing the samples in large bioreactors. The company plans to introduce mahi mahi as the first cultured seafood product, followed by bluefin tuna.

Late last year, the Singapore Food Agency approved Eat Just’s cell-cultured chicken. This was the first laboratory-grown chicken to receive government approval, and the company is seeking additional approvals to sell its products in other markets, including the United States