Ocean farming startup Sea6 Energy announced that it has raised $9 Mn as a part of its Series B funding round led by Netherlands-based aquaculture fund Aqua-Spark.
Singapore-based Silverstrand Capital also participated as a part of this round.
Prior to this, in 2015, Sea6 had received Series A funding from Tata Capital Innovation Fund.
The startup stated that it would use the new funds to finance its additional SeaCombine systems to increase the supply of seaweed raw material and expand its processing capacity with additional facilities to produce Sea6’s agricultural biostimulant and animal health products.
Founded in 2010 by Nelson Vadassery, Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Sowmya Balendiran and Sri Sailaja Nori, the company develops technologies to convert biomass into biofuel, plant growth stimulants, plant defence products, animal feed ingredients, and other bio-renewable products to replace chemicals and plastics.
The startup has also developed proprietary technologies to convert fresh seaweed into environmentally friendly products for a range of industries including agriculture, animal health, food ingredients, bioplastics and renewable chemicals.
Currently, Sea6 exports its patented agriculture biostimulant product to countries like the USA, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
Shrikumar Suryanarayan, managing director and cofounder, Sea6 Energy, said, “At Sea6 Energy, we are focused on cultivating and processing tropical seaweed species. The fact that seaweed cultivation is a very sustainable operation makes this biomass a versatile and ideal raw material that can be used for a variety of industrial purposes to greatly reduce their carbon footprint.”
Commenting on the deal, Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, cofounders of Aqua-Spark, said, “Investing in seaweed production has been a priority for us since we launched in 2015 but, until now, we hadn’t come upon an operation that was both economically viable and was able to produce at scale. Sea6’s first-of-its-kind innovation is well-positioned to impact how we farm seaweed and its utilisation across industries.”
“Their SeaCombine makes sustainably farming the ocean possible while capturing CO2 and transforming it into valuable products. The company’s approach impressed us from the start, and we’re eager to integrate them into our portfolio and begin to work together,” they added.
Globally, the aquaculture market was valued at $169 Bn in 2015 and is expected to grow at 5.3% CAGR to touch $242 Bn by 2022. However, currently the number of startups operating in the aquaculture or marine sector is extremely small. Recently, South Asian Aqua farmers network Aquaconnect raised $4 Mn (INR 29.7 Cr) in a pre-series A round led by Rebright Partners and Flourish Ventures.