Provectus Algae lands US$11M to expand sustainable biomanufacturing platform
15 Dec 2021 --- Provectus Algae has secured US$11.4 million in a pre-series A funding round for its natural and biosynthetic specialty ingredients. This also marks the first cornerstone investment from Hitachi Ventures’ new fund, which will continue to seek out start-ups in the sustainability and health care markets.
Australia-based Provectus will use the funding to expedite the expansion of the company’s sustainable biomanufacturing platform and support R&D operations to further early-stage product development capabilities.
It will also help increase the commercial production capacity of future and current high-value products under development and drive the commercialization of multiple products already in the company development pipeline.
“This [commercialization] includes the commissioning of a large-scale facility to support the production of a specialty natural red colorant for the alternative protein market,” CEO Nusqe Spanton tells NutritionInsight.
“The potential for algae as a biomanufacturing platform is huge, with applications spanning many markets and product types.” These include flavors, colors, texturizers, sweeteners, peptides, targeted active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and other functional ingredients.
Realizing a decarbonized society
This funding round was co-led by Hitachi Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Hitachi and Vectr Ventures of Hong Kong. The round was further supported by Possible Ventures, Acequia Capital, existing shareholders and additional private investors.
Provectus is the first cornerstone investment from Hitachi Ventures’ second fund, which makes strategic investments in the environment and health care start-ups in the fields.
Hitachi established the second fund earlier this year to strengthen its investment in companies creating environmental value by addressing decarbonization of existing emissions sources and new markets. It also seeks to add social value through health care, including precision medicine and digital delivery of healthcare.
“Provectus perfectly fits the profile of innovative, early-stage companies that we envisioned when we created Hitachi Ventures’ second fund,” says Pete Bastien, partner at Hitachi Ventures.
“Through this investment and more to come, Hitachi is working to solve the global environmental and social issues in collaboration with like-minded, visionary entrepreneurs. Together, we are working toward the realization of a decarbonized, sustainable society.”
Leveraging the product pipeline
Provectus’ current product pipeline includes recombinant proteins, along with a suite of natural products in the pipeline. One of these already has a commercial agreement with an undisclosed “world-leading” F&B ingredients supplier.
Provectus says it is now leveraging the strengths of the platform to rapidly identify, engineer and scale novel products to meet the needs of multiple global markets.
“We plan to increase both our R&D and production capacity to support additional platform customers and bring products to market, expanding our offerings into new markets and jurisdictions and enabling as many customers as we can through the power of biology,” adds Spanton.
24/7 automated platform
The Provectus biomanufacturing platform progresses novel products from ideation to industry scale using continuity of production technology.
The 24/7 automated closed system platform aims to provide customers a competitive edge in scaling natural and biosynthetic products to keep pace with consumer product development cycles.
For compound manufacturers and suppliers, Provectus says its technology carries a multitude of benefits, including increased quality, greater yield, improved production economics and NPD opportunities.
Additionally, the platform addresses supply chain challenges by providing end-to-end product development to large-scale biomanufacturing solutions for corporate customers.
By converting carbon dioxide and light into high-value and high-demand products, the technology has the potential to “transform the biomanufacturing landscape,” offering sustainable and scalable manufacturing solutions.
This addresses a key demand, with Innova Market Insights crowning “Shared Planet” as its Top Trend for 2022.
By Katherine Durrell
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