EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND — MiAlgae, a biotechnology startup, secured an investment of £2.3 million ($2.7 million USD) to further develop its circular economy technology. The company plans to use the funding to further grow its production of sustainable Omega 3 fatty acids for human and animal consumption.

Founded in 2016, MiAlgae seeks to create a more sustainable food economy for Omega 3 oils. According to the company, overfishing has created a global threat, as demand for Omega fatty acids continues to rise in both human and animal food industries. 

Leveraging novel biotechnology, the company uses coproducts from the food and beverage industry to develop feedstock to grow microalgae rich in Omega 3 oils and antioxidants. The technology essentially eliminates complete reliance on wild-caught fish, reduces carbon emissions and aids in the biosecurity of ocean life, according to MiAlgae.

Douglas Martin, managing director of MiAlgae.Douglas Martin, managing director of MiAlgae. (Photo courtesy of MiAlgae)

“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,” said Douglas Martin, managing director of MiAlgae. “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.”

The investment round was led by the Conduit Impact Fund, managed by Ascension, which invested £900,000 ($1.07 million USD) and received participation from SIS Ventures, which invested £350,000 ($418,969 USD). Existing investors Equity Gap, Old College Capital and Scottish Enterprise agreed to invest more than £1 million ($1.19 million USD) combined. 

“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,” said Hadley Diest, investment manager at the Conduit Impact Fund.

“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,” Diest added.

MiAlgae also recently received a £850,000 ($1.01 million USD) grant from Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. 

The company plans to use the combined investments and grant to aid in its growth plans, which include the construction of a commercial demonstrator facility near Stirling, Scotland, to drive its attraction in the commercial market. The company will also look to expand its personnel to support the new facility.

“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,” Martin said.

Currently, the company is focusing its production on the pet food industry, but has its eye on expanding into aquaculture, as the industry is one of the largest consumers of fish oil globally. 

“MiAlgae is a great addition to our multi-award-winning portfolio of innovative mission driven businesses,” said Rob Halliday, senior investment manager at SIS Ventures. “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.”

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