CFO and additional key hires prepare company for initial market test
BlueNalu, a leading food technology company developing cell-based seafood products, announced today several key strategic developments including a substantial expansion of the company’s operations, the hiring of a Chief Financial Officer, and the enhancement of its R&D, project management, and engineering teams.
BlueNalu has signed a lease for an expansion to its administrative, R&D and manufacturing space with a new facility in San Diego that is more than 38,000 sq. feet, a six-fold increase over the current BlueNalu space. The larger facility will include a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) pilot-scale food production plant that will be designed for the commercial production of BlueNalu’s various cell-based seafood products in its initial test markets. The new location will also feature the first BlueNalu kitchen and demonstration space, providing up-close-and-personal culinary experiences with cutting-edge chefs and sustainable seafood ambassadors, as well as a peek into BlueNalu’s production process.
BlueNalu continues to develop its platform technology that enables production of a broad array of marine species, initially focusing on finfish including mahi mahi, red snapper, tuna, and yellowtail. BlueNalu is developing cell-based seafood products that will be healthy for consumers, humane for sea life, and sustainable for our planet, and will be free of harmful levels of mercury, pathogens, parasites, microplastics, and other environmental contaminants. Importantly, BlueNalu’s products are designed to have the same taste, texture, and performance as conventional seafood in all cooking and preparation methods. BlueNalu recently demonstrated that its yellowtail product had the same culinary characteristics as conventional yellowtail in all preparation applications, with the ability to be prepared in the raw form, cooked form (seared, grilled, broiled, fried, and microwaved), and prepared via acidification (e.g. in ceviche, poke, and kimchi applications).
“The announcement of this new facility is an exciting milestone for BlueNalu, as it is our intent to launch our products in the marketplace during the second-half of 2021,” said Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of BlueNalu. “I am also pleased today to announce the hiring of Amir Feder as our CFO, who will work closely with me on investor relations, corporate governance and our long-term corporate strategy.”
Amir Feder has an extensive background in corporate finance with more than 20 years of experience supporting founder-led innovative organizations through rapid development, including in the tech, media, entertainment and real estate industries. Most recently, he was CFO of Hughes Marino, a Southern California based commercial real estate firm, where he led all aspects of the firm’s finances and partnered with the executive team to optimize margins and target strategic acquisitions. Previously, Feder was the Global CFO of Droga5, an iconic and award-winning advertising agency, where he led the landmark sale of Droga5 to Accenture.
“I am thrilled to join the BlueNalu team as CFO. It is a privilege to participate in this dynamic and market-disrupting company and fulfill BlueNalu’s vision to positively impact global food security, ocean conservation and human health through innovation,” said Amir Feder, CFO of BlueNalu. “With our new larger facility and the impressive developments in our technology, this initiates phase three of our five-phase commercialization strategy. It is an exciting time as we are leading a new category of food innovation and poised for a successful market launch.”
BlueNalu has also recently expanded its team in its project management, technology, product development, and engineering areas, and anticipates doubling its staff to approximately 50 team members during the next 9-12 months.
Cooperhouse added “BlueNalu is continually exploring opportunities for growth, and proactively investigating the expansive opportunities for our cellular aquaculture process. We have developed an internal think tank, BlueNalu Innovations, to explore these opportunities, and implement the collaborations and partnerships that will help us to realize the breadth of our vision.”
BlueNalu’s new facility and the expansion of its team follows recent news regarding the completion of its $20 million Series A round of financing. The company has attracted investors from 11 nations to date, originating from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America. BlueNalu has also attracted strategic investments from Griffith Foods, a global product development partner to the food industry; Nutreco, a global leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed; Pulmuone, a global leader in healthy lifestyle and sustainable food products; Rich Products Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Rich Products Corporation, a leading multinational supplier of food products; and Sumitomo Corporation of America, a global investor and supplier of goods and services, including foods.