Madison-based Cultured Decadence acquired by UPSIDE Foods

The UPSIDE Foods office in Berkeley, California.

Madison-based Cultured Decadence, a manufacturer of cell-cultured seafood alternatives including lobster meat, has been acquired by Berkeley, California-based UPSIDE Foods. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cultured Decadence was part of the 2020 gener8tor cohort in Madison. The company aims to create cell-cultured seafood that is nutritious, animal-friendly, sustainable, and provides an authentic experience to consumers worldwide.

According to a press release, this acquisition will allow UPSIDE to expand its product portfolio and accelerate commercialization of a range of seafood products grown directly from animal cells, without raising animals. Cultured Decadence will adopt UPSIDE’s brand and remain in Wisconsin as UPSIDE’s Midwest hub.

“We’ve long admired UPSIDE’s innovation and leadership in the cultivated meat industry,” said John Pattison and Ian Johnson, co-founders of Cultured Decadence. “UPSIDE’s unparalleled R&D and scale up capabilities will significantly accelerate the commercialization of cultivated delicious, sustainable and humane seafood.”

UPSIDE, founded in 2015, was the first cultivated meat company in the world. They have cultivated the world’s first beef meatball, as well as the first chicken and duck alternatives. This acquisition follows the recent opening of UPSIDE’s Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in California.

“Seafood has a rich and delicious culinary tradition that makes it a favorite across the globe. Cultivated seafood also has a tremendous potential to benefit the world,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, founder and chief executive officer of UPSIDE Foods. “Cultured Decadence’s technology is incredibly promising, and their team is filled with passionate, smart individuals who want to make our favorite food a force for good.”

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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