Wildtype's series B round is the largest to date for a cultivated seafood developer, helping to open up a new front in the alternative food startup space.

Wildtype, a US-based cultivated salmon producer, raised a $100m series B round, which was touted as the largest yet for a cultivated seafood provider and featured agribusiness Cargill in the syndicate. Private equity firm L Catterton led the round, which also included Bezos Expeditions, Temasek, S2G Ventures Oceans and Seafood Fund, FootPrint Coalition, Spark Capital, CRV as well as individual investors including actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Founded in 2016, Wildtype has developed cellular agriculture technology to grow what it claims to be sushi-grade salmon directly from the cells of silver salmon sourced from the northern Pacific ocean. The process removes the requirement for catching living fish and effectively avoids pollutants like mercury, microplastics or antibiotics. The company opened its first pilot plant in San Francisco in June 2021 and will allocate the series B funds to expanding production at the facility as it prepares to commercially launch its product in its home country.

Wildtype is part of the broader food and beverage tech space, which has enjoyed much attention and interest from corporate venture investors over the past few years, as the bar chart below illustrates. The number of corporate-backed deals in this space reached an all-time high last year, when we tracked 191 such rounds, worth an estimated $14.4bn. The alternative food space has been gaining much attention because of its environmental implications and its significance in tackling climate change.