Sea6 Energy has developed an economically viable solution to scale seaweed production in the open ocean
Mumbai, NFAPost: Sea6 Energy, a pioneer of innovative technologies for sustainable, large-scale and mechanised ocean farming, announced it has raised $9 Million in Series B funding led by Netherlands-based Aqua-Spark, the world’s first investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture.
Sea6 Energy is a vertically integrated seaweed producer, processor and developer headquartered in Bangalore with a subsidiary in Indonesia. The company has developed the proprietary SeaCombine, a fully mechanized cultivation system that can simultaneously harvest and replant seaweed in deep ocean waters, enabling cost competitive production at scale.
Sea6 has also developed proprietary technologies to convert fresh seaweed into novel, environmentally friendly products for a range of industries including agriculture, animal health, food ingredients, bioplastics and renewable chemicals. Sea6 is the only fully integrated tropical sea agriculture and seaplant based product manufacturing company in the world.
Sea6 was founded in 2010 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras). At that time, Sailaja Nori, Nelson Vadassery and Sowmya Balendiran had just graduated with degrees in biotechnology and Shrikumar Suryanarayan, the former R&D head of Biocon, was an adjunct faculty at the IIT Madras.
Since launching, the company has been working to develop technology and products to better support the seaweed industry. It now covers the full supply chain, from farming seaweed to product development to selling to consumers.
Aqua-Spark is the lead investor in Sea6’s $9 Million Series B round, alongside co-investor, the Singapore-based Silverstrand Capital. Sea6 had earlier received an investment from Tata Capital Innovation Fund in 2015 as part of their Series A funding.
The new funds will contribute towards the financing of additional SeaCombine systems to increase supply of seaweed raw material and expanding Sea6’s processing capacity with additional facilities to produce Sea6’s agricultural biostimulant and animal health products.
Commenting on the investment, Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders 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 utilization across industries. Their SeaCombine makes sustainably farming the ocean a possibility, 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.”
Sea6 Energy Managing Director and Co-founder Shrikumar Suryanarayan said the team is delighted to be part of Aqua-Spark’s portfolio of companies. A
“qua-Spark’s vision of sustainability is very well aligned with Sea6’s own vision. 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,” said Shrikumar Suryanarayan.
Launched in 2014, Aqua-Spark is an investment fund with a mission to transform the global aquaculture industry into one that is healthier, more sustainable, and more accessible. They invest in aquaculture companies across the value chain—spanning farming operations, alternative feed ingredients, disease-battling technology, and consumer-facing aquaculture products.
These companies are solving some of the industry’s big challenges while bringing returns that are comparable to today’s traditional industry. The portfolio works as an ecosystem, with the companies agreeing to collaborate on optimal solutions, and working together toward this shared vision of a more efficient global aquaculture industry.
Since 2015, the fund has invested in 21 complementary SMEs. Thus far, Aqua-Spark has EUR 195 million in assets under management, dedicated to investments in elements of the aquaculture industry that will make fish farming sustainable. The goal of the fund is to ultimately make sustainability widespread and profitable enough that it becomes the only way to farm fish.
About Sea6 Energy
Headquartered in Bangalore, with operations out of India and Indonesia, Sea6 Energy was founded in 2010 to develop disruptive new solutions to key global problems. Over the last decade, it has become a pioneer of innovative technologies for sustainable, large-scale and mechanized ocean farming.
Sea6 also uses its proprietary technologies to convert seaweed into environmentally friendly products for a range of industries including agriculture, animal health, food ingredients, bioplastics and renewable chemicals.
Sea6 sells its patented agri biostimulant product through FMC Corporation and Summit Agro International, and also exports it to countries like the USA, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The company envisions a future powered by the endless potential of the oceans and independent of traditional energy sources.