A student biotech startup Zaara Biotech, which was incubated under Sahrdaya Technology Business Incubator (Sahrdaya TBI), has bagged an investment of $10 Mn from UAE-based TCN International Commerce LLC for its project titled ‘AlgaeSeaweed Technology’ under the B-lite Cookies.
B-lite Cookies are algae and seaweed based cookies made by the startup and incorporated in the Central Institute of Fisheries and Technology of Kerala. The company claims that these cookies act as an instant energy booster and contain more protein content than other biscuit products. The presence of superoxide dismutase (SOD) helps to reduce aging in humans and is free from preservatives, transfat and cholesterol. The cookies also contain iron and calcium.
The product was showcased at the GITEX 2020 international conference in Dubai, as a part of an international startup delegation of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
TCN International Commerce has marked its presence across multiple sectors like IT, business process management, trading, healthcare, education, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), construction and engineering, defence, critical service providers, aviation, and oil and gas. The enterprise has invested in Zaara Biotech to aid its research and development (R&D), production, distribution and marketing under the TCN International Commerce’s banner.
Zaara Biotech, fostered by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Center (IEDC) of KSUM, was founded in 2016 by Najeeb Bin Haneef when he was a biotech engineering student at Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology. It focuses on research in energy and food crisis using micro-algae.
The biotech startup in collaboration with Indian Council of Agriculture and Research-CIFT developed the seaweed products by designing photobioreactors using micro-algae.
According to India’s department of biotechnology, the country’s biotechnology sector is estimated to reach the market size value of $100 Bn by 2025. The department, which is a part of the ministry of science and technology, emphasise that India holds 3% of the global market share of the biotechnology and is the third largest in Asia-Pacific region.
It is important to note that India has more than 4,237 biotech startups and is expected to have over 10,000 by 2025. There are 760+ core biotech companies with 200+ Biotech products available in the Indian market, as per the InvestIndia website.