The Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit spotlights breakthrough start-ups revolutionising Asia’s agri-food ecosystem.

From Seed-Stage through to Series-C, the event connects innovators with brands, investors and producers looking to drive food security and provide affordable, nutritious food for future generations.

Forsea were the winners of the Food-Tech Start-Up Pitch Hour 2023. We caught up with them to to see what they’ve got up to since the summit last year.

Outline the start-up in 1-2 sentences:

Forsea is a cell-cultured fish and seafood company with a unique organoid technology that will allow it to reach price parity faster than any other cultivated meat company. Forsea is deeply committed to the APAC market and its first product is the freshwater eel.

FORSEA winning the Food-Tech Start-Up Pitch Hour at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023
FORSEA winning the Food-Tech Start-Up Pitch Hour at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

Tell us about your key milestones since the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

Since the summit, Forsea has made significant progress in both R&D and business activities, successfully achieving all its set milestones:

  • We have established several strategic relationships with key food companies in Japan, facilitating the effective distribution of our products in this territory.
  • The company recently hosted its first public tasting of its cultured fish products, including the world’s first cultured eel (Unagi).
  • Our R&D is advancing rapidly, and we are now focused on scaling our lab-perfected process to a commercial level. As such, we are now launching our Series A funding round.

Looking back at the activity the past few years, both regarding market dynamics and your company’s internal development, what is driving your strategy?

With the mission to bring the promise of cultured meat to the consumer plate, Forsea utilizes its proprietary organoid technology to produce cell-cultured fish and seafood products. Our technology enables us to reach price parity faster than any other cultured meat company.

Forsea targets high-priced fish and seafood products with significant market potential, focusing exclusively on species at risk.

Our first product is the freshwater eel, an endangered species that cannot be bred in captivity and has a market potential estimated at billions of dollars.

What are the main obstacles and challenges you anticipate as you move forward with your start-up? How do you plan to address and overcome them?

FORSEA pitching at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023
FORSEA pitching at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

The main challenge for start-ups today, particularly in food tech and alternative proteins, is accessing adequate funding. Interest rates, economic volatility, and geopolitical tensions have been affecting investor decisions in recent years.

To address this, Forsea is diversifying its funding sources and building relationships with various types of investors. We’re investing in marketing, product tastings, and recruiting the right people to our team and advisory board.

What advice would you offer start-ups who are fundraising in today’s challenging economic and regulatory landscape?

In today’s tough economic and regulatory environment, start-ups raising funds should focus on their unique technology or market niche that gives them an edge. They should ensure their technology solves a specific problem better than others, aim for underserved or high-potential market segments, clearly explain the benefits of their products (better performance, lower cost, unique features, etc.) and build credibility with a strong team and advisory board.

It’s a challenging journey, but with resilience and careful planning, start-ups can secure the funding it needs to grow and develop.

Could you feature at the summit? Join us in Singapore on November 19-21, to meet over 1000 agri-food leaders for thought-leadership sessions, start-up discovery, investor insights, and targeted networking. Get in touch.