Home » Israeli Foodtech Startup, Wanda Fish, Raises $7 Million for Cultivated Bluefin Tuna Production

Israeli Foodtech Startup, Wanda Fish, Raises $7 Million for Cultivated Bluefin Tuna Production

by Agritech Digest
Wanda Fish Agritech Digest
  • Wanda Fish secures $7 million in seed funding in a funding round led by Aqua-Spark with several returning investors.
  • The company specialises in cultivating bluefin tuna using muscle and fat cells to replicate the texture, flavour, and nutritional value of wild-caught fish. 
  • It has made significant progress in developing a whole-cut prototype and controlling fat levels in its products.
  • With the new funding, Wanda Fish plans to optimise its technology, scale up production, and seek regulatory approvals. 

Israeli foodtech startup, Wanda Fish, has raised $7 million in seed funding to advance their production of cultivated bluefin tuna. The funding round was led by Aqua-Spark, and joined by returning investors, The Kitchen Hub, Peregrine Ventures, LLC, PICO Venture Partners, MOREVC and CPT Capital, LLP, bringing their together funding to $10 million.

According to the company’s co-founder and CEO, Daphna Heffetz, Wanda Fish creates whole-cut cultivated fish fillets using muscle and fat cells to replicate the texture, flavour, and nutritional value of wild-caught fish, beginning with the bluefin tuna. 

As Heffetz revealed in an interview with TechCrunch, bluefin tuna is one of the most demanded and tastiest fish, and only a few companies have successfully cultivated it using fish cells, but Wanda Fish will succeed based on their expertise and through innovation. “…Many companies are trying to do them, but we will succeed based on our dynamic and the fact that we are very experienced people attacking the problem from various ideas.”

Bluefin tuna. Credit: Fishing Tasmania

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Heffetz co-founded Wanda Fish in 2021 with the food tech incubator, The Kitchen Hub, created by Strauss-Group. She is a skilled biochemist with 20 years of experience working in biotechnology companies, including PhytoTech Therapeutics. She is joined by stem cell and genomic engineering experts, Malkiel Cohen and Yaron Sfadyah.

While still in its early stages, the company has made substantial progress with its proprietary technology, realising a whole-cut prototype by “forming a 3D filet structure using bluefin tuna cells, differentiated into both muscle and fat tissues.” Wanda Fish is able to control fat levels in its end products so that it can create other cuts, including the toro cut.

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With the new funding, the company will optimise its technology, and speed up the scalability of its cultivated whole-cut filet of bluefin tuna prototype. Wanda Fish also aims to begin acquiring regulatory approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies in 2025 and then begin selling in restaurants in 2026. It has an exclusive licensing and sponsored research agreement with Tufts University and is also working with David Kaplan, a Tufts biomedical engineering professor and cellular agriculture expert.

Read more here

Cover photo credit: Wanda Fish on LinkedIn

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