Zaara’s founder said production and R&D operations will be done by Zaara Biotech India while the other operations will be handled by Zaara Biotech International
At present, Zaara is working in the UAE to set up a manufacturing facility for FMCG products
Earlier, Zaara Biotech manufactured algal seaweed cookies, including high protein algal Spirulina cookies
Biotech startup Zaara Biotech has raised funding from the US-based Transcend International.
The funds will be used to set up an algal seaweed technology facility in the US. Besides, Zaara will also set up an algal seaweed culturing facility and a research center for photobioreactors in the US.
Najeeb Bin Haneef, Zaara Biotech’s founder and CEO said, “The complete operations in production and R&D will be done by our company while the other operations will be handled by team Transcend under the incorporated name — Zaara Biotech International.”
Founded in 2016 by Najeeb Bin Haneef, the Thrissur-based startup was fostered by KSUM’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Center (IEDC) programme. Haneef incorporated the startup when he was a biotech student at Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology. The startup offers sustainable environmental solutions to resolve energy and food crises by using micro-algae in its research.
At present, Zaara is working in the UAE to set up a manufacturing facility for FMCG products.
Haneef further informed that all activities of Zaara Biotech USA will be constrained to the US only, as globally Zaara Biotech India acts as a parenting company. Its US-based subsidiary, Zaara Biotech USA handles operations within the US while Zaara Biotech India acts as a parent firm, as explained by the startup.
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In March 2021, Zaara Biotech raised $10 Mn from the UAE-based TCN International Commerce LLC for its project – Algae Seaweed Technology under the brand B-lite Cookies.
Earlier, Zaara Biotech manufactured algal seaweed cookies, including high protein algal Spirulina cookies.
The startup faces competition from the likes of Biocon and MedGenome.
Government’s Push For Biotech Startups
To boost homegrown biotech startups, the government launched Biological Research Regulatory Approval Portal in May this year. The portal would help startups and researchers get clearance from regulatory authorities for biological research and development in India.
During the launch, the Union Minister For Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said, “The portal will strengthen interdepartmental synergies and bring accountability, transparency and efficacy in functioning of agencies regulating various aspects of biological research and issuing permission.”
The minister further informed that over 2,700 biotech startups and more than 2,500 biotech companies are presently working in India.
As per a report, India’s biotechnology sector was estimated at $63 Bn in 2019. The sector is poised to grow to $150 Bn by 2025 at a CAGR of 16.4%.
Bengaluru-based Bugworks Research, which raised $18 Mn and Mumbai-based Epigeneres Biotech that secured $6 Mn are some of the biotech startups working in the biotech sector in the country.