MRO Magazine

Algal Scientific Secures $7 Million in Funding to Accelerate Its Efforts to Transform the World’s Food Supply


March 31, 2015
By Business Wire News

PLYMOUTH, Mich.

Algal Scientific Corporation, a biotech developer and manufacturer of algae-based chemicals and a supplier of related technologies for the food and beverage industries, today announced that it has closed a $7 million Series B funding round. The investment is being led by Formation 8, with additional participation from Evonik Industries and Independence Equity, all returning investors. This brings the total amount raised by the company to over $10 million.

Algal Scientific was founded in 2009 with the goal of leveraging its expertise in biology and engineering to develop transformative agriculture solutions for some of society’s greatest problems, including the massive overuse of antibiotics in the world’s food supply. The company has created Algamune, the world’s first beta glucan commercially produced from algae, which can be introduced into the diets of livestock and poultry to naturally support the animals’ immune systems without relying on antibiotics.

“There is no question that antibiotic resistance is a problem that is only going to get worse unless significant changes are made to the way we utilize antibiotics,” said Geoff Horst, CEO at Algal Scientific. “We are thrilled that Formation 8, Evonik, Independence Equity and our other investors have had the foresight to get ahead of this growing issue by showing their support for Algal Scientific’s vision. Their financial and strategic support will help us accelerate our efforts to disrupt the agriculture space in a way that has lasting benefits for both animal and human health.”

“Our investment in Algal Scientific is a terrific example of our focus on supporting extraordinary entrepreneurs leveraging new technology platforms to tackle big global problems, in this case the negative consequences associated with current methods of food production,” said Jim Kim, founder and managing partner at Formation 8. “Algal Scientific is a disruptive force with an innovative and scalable agriculture technology solution and clear vision to bring about lasting global health benefits while also improving the quality and efficiency of livestock production.”

Concerns about antibiotic resistance have grown exponentially in recent years, and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

— Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.

— The number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics has increased in the last decade, with many bacterial infections becoming resistant to the most commonly prescribed antibiotic treatments.

— Sensitive bacteria are killed every time a person takes antibiotics, but resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply.

— Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.

— An estimated two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying as a result.

With this new funding, Algal Scientific plans to dedicate even more resources to addressing and overcoming the global overuse of antibiotics, specifically of those used in the food supply. It’s estimated that 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used on livestock and poultry, which increases the chances for bacteria in the environment to develop resistance to these critically important drugs.

Algal Scientific has already made significant strides in combating this challenge by creating Algamune. Algamune is produced by growing a selected strain of natural, non-GMO microalgae in controlled, sterile fermentation systems so that it contains high concentrations of beta-1,3-glucan, which has long been known for its ability to naturally support a healthy immune system.

About Algal Scientific

Algal Scientific leverages extensive expertise in biology, engineering to create innovative solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges – namely a clean water supply and the conservation of natural resources. Algal Scientific is dedicated to providing cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions that help meet these challenges.

Through an added focus on beta glucan produced in algae, Algal Scientific is creating effective solutions that reduce the overuse of antibiotics in the food supply. These efforts contribute to the global, long-term support of animal and human immune health.

The Algal Scientific team, led by CEO Geoff Horst who has a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, brings together scientists with backgrounds in algae, immune health, and fermentation, along with experts with decades of experience in animal health and feed ingredients. Algal Scientific was formed in 2009 after winning the inaugural DTE Clean Energy Competition hosted by the University of Michigan and DTE Energy. Since then, the company has gone on to win several other awards and competitions including the $500,000 Grand Prize in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. For more information, visit www.algalscientific.com.

About Formation 8

Formation 8 is a venture capital firm that provides financial and strategic capital to early growth companies and entrepreneurs seeking to transform the most important global industries by solving hard problems with technology solutions. Partnership is in the firm’s DNA and Formation 8 has become a partner-of-choice to entrepreneurs by providing active management support and leveraging its deep networks to help portfolio companies accelerate their growth. For more information, visit www.formation8.com.

About Evonik Industries AG

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion. Within its venture capital activities Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in highly promising start-ups with break-through technologies and leading specialist venture capital funds. These investments will focus on Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Partnering with innovative start-up companies supplements Evonik’s approach of open innovation and creates excellent opportunities for accelerating the development of new businesses and opening up future growth fields. For more information visit their website at www.evonik.com/venturing.

About Independence Equity

Independence Equity I, LP is an early-stage venture capital fund focused on technologies that improve resource utilization. These include technologies that reduce input costs such as raw materials, energy and labor, improve yield in production processes, or decrease waste or scrap. The fund’s interests comprise sectors such as material science, industrial innovation, and clean technologies. For more information visit their website at www.independence-equity.com.

Method Communications (for Algal Scientific)
Alex Koritz, 801-461-9795
alex@methodcommunications.com