Edinburgh-based biotechnology start-up MiAlgae has secured further investment of £2.3m to help drive the next stage of its growth journey.
Established in 2016, the firm says it has created a solution to producing a sustainable source of Omega-3 for animal and human consumption – something which is currently produced by extracting the oil from billions of wild caught fish.
Championing the circular economy, the company has developed a novel biotechnology platform which uses low-value coproducts from the food and drink industry as a feedstock to initially grow microalgae rich in Omega-3 oils.
Plans are already in place to commercialise other high-value compounds and pigments through expansion of the platform.
The Conduit Impact Fund managed by Ascension led the round, investing £900,000, with new investor SIS Ventures putting forward £350,000.
Having already previously invested, Equity Gap, Old College Capital and Scottish Enterprise all committed to additional funding, totalling over £1m. The investment builds on the £850k of grant funding recently secured from Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.
The £2.3m investment will support the company in its growth plans which include the completion of a commercial demonstrator facility near Stirling which will drive MiAlgae’s expanding commercial traction.
Initially the company is focused on the pet food sector with an eye on expansion into the aquaculture sector in the near future. Aquaculture is the largest consumer of fish oil produced globally which is used in fish feed.
The investment will also help grow the team at MiAlgae and increase its expertise. Ten new posts, including a Head of Engineering and Commercial Director, will be created.
Douglas Martin, Managing Director at MiAlgae, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to know that our investors see value in the biotechnology platform we’ve developed to tackle the production of omega-3 oils in a commercially viable way.
“Our process is championing the circular economy and the investment we have secured will be transformational in helping MiAlgae scale quickly both locally and abroad.
“Our commercial demonstrator plant, due to be completed early in 2023, will help us improve food security globally, while our research department continues to drive the development of exciting, commercially viable biotech innovations.”
Hadley Diest, Investment Manager at the Conduit Impact Fund, said: “MiAlgae’s circular economy approach to producing algae rich in Omega-3 solves key pain points on the supply (Scotch Whisky distilleries) and demand (pet food and fish feed producers) sides – to both dispose of Scotch byproducts sustainably and increase the supply of sustainably sourced, price-competitive, Omega-3 into the broader market.
“Douglas and his team have worked tirelessly to bring this vision to life and the Conduit Impact Fund is proud to help support MiAlgae in their next stage of commercial growth.”
Rob Halliday, Senior Investment Manager at SIS Ventures said: “MiAlgae is a great addition to our multi-award winning portfolio of innovative mission driven businesses. We believe in MiAlgae’s mission to become a world leader in biotechnology for good, and, by improving food security and reducing the impact of humanity on the planet through sustainable omega-3 production MiAlgae, will deliver important societal and environmental impact aligned to three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – life below water, good health and wellbeing, and responsible consumption and production.