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Biotech startup secures $2.8 million funding to turn whisky coproducts into omega-3s

MiAlgae is focused on the pet food sector with an eye on expansion into the aquaculture sector soon.

MiAlgae - senior group shot
MiAlgae team

August 17, 2022

MiAlgae, an Edinburgh-based biotechnology startup, has secured a £2.3 million (USD 2.8 million) investment to help drive the next stage of its growth journey.

Established in 2016, MiAlgae has created a solution to producing a sustainable source of omega-3 for animal and human consumption. The company has developed a novel biotechnology platform that uses low-value coproducts from the Scotch whisky industry as a feed source to grow microalgae rich in omega-3 oils. Plans are already in place to commercialize other high-value compounds and pigments through the expansion of the platform.

The £2.3 million 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. The company is focused on the pet food sector with an eye on expansion into the aquaculture sector in the near future. 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.

“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 at 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. 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.”

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 totaling over £1 million. The investment builds on the £850,000 of grant funding recently secured from Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.

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