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Y Combinator’s Kuleana is making an animal-free substitute for raw tuna

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Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat that are making vegetable-based meat substitutes have captured the imagination and wallets of consumers, but so far, there’s been no real corollary for the seafood industry.

Now, a startup coming from Y Combinator’s summer cohort, Kuleana, is hoping it can swim in those waters.

While new businesses like Wild Type, Finless Foods and Shiok Meats are all developing cell-based alternatives to using live tuna, salmon and shrimp, and Good Catch and Ocean Hugger are proposing their own tuna replacements, Kuleana hopes to differentiate itself by replicating sushi-grade raw tuna.

And that’s only the beginning, according to Kuleana co-founder and chief executive, Jacek Prus. Eventually, the company hopes to be making vegetarian alternatives to tuna, salmon and more fish and shellfish.

“Nobody has really done raw tuna very well yet,” says Prus. “We’re going to do raw tuna and then probably salmon.”

Prus became interested in the food industry after taking an animal ethics class at the University of Texas at Austin. After five years in the city, Prus moved to Europe and helped set up the ProVeg International incubator.

It was there that Prus got in touch with Ron Shigeta, a longtime researcher, technologist and entrepreneur in the food science space who previously worked as the chief science officer at IndieBio. Shigeta put Prus in touch with the Barcelona-based food science researcher Sonia Hurtado and the three launched Kuleana (Shigeta has since left the company).

The food accelerator experience gave Prus, a lifelong meat eater before college, a grounding in alternative proteins and led to the thinking around how to develop a more flavorful fish alternative.

Sample product from Kuleana. Image Credit: Kuleana

Kuleana’s tuna is made using iron and algae oil and a mix of different proteins, and forming them in a proprietary way, Prus said. Using an initial €50,000 in seed funding from Good Seed Ventures, Kuleana is developing a scaffolding that will enable the company to recreate the taste and texture of raw fish, without using 3D printing techniques (which Prus said could make the product look and taste “cooked”).

To get to market, Kuleana is reaching out to a number of sushi chefs at restaurants around the country, because the first target is, in fact, restaurants.

“What we found is that 60% [of seafood] is eaten out of the home, and with raw seafood that’s significantly higher,” said Prus. “We’re doing it heavier on the food service route.”

Within the year, Kuleana may be appearing in some stores as a tuna alternative in sushi rolls and poke bowls at a price that Prus said is already competitive with higher-grade tuna loin.

Kuleana already held two successful taste tests in Barcelona and San Francisco and the company boasted in a recent note to investors that there were letters of intent for orders of over 50,000 pounds of the company’s vegetarian tuna substitute.

“The taste of tuna isn’t the hardest part… it’s the texture,” says Prus. “[Competitors] are formatting their process through extrusion and it will not work. I’m confident that what we’re doing with the biotech might be one of the best approaches out there.”

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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