Plymouth, Michigan-based Algal Scientific Corp, a maker of algae-based chemicals, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Formation 8 Partners led the round with participation from previous backers Evonik Venture Capital and Independence Equity.
PLYMOUTH, Mich. (March 31, 2015) – Algal Scientific Corporation, a biotech developer and manufacturer of algae-based chemicals and a supplier of related technologies for the food and beverage industries, today announced that it has closed a $7 million Series B funding round. The investment is being led by Formation 8 Partners, with additional support from Evonik Venture Capital and Independence Equity, all returning investors. This brings the total amount raised by the company to over $10 million.
Concerns about antibiotic resistance have grown exponentially in recent years, and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
The number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics has increased in the last decade, with many bacterial infections becoming resistant to the most commonly prescribed antibiotic treatments.
Sensitive bacteria are killed every time a person takes antibiotics, but resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply.
Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.
· An estimated two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying as a result.
With this new funding, Algal Scientific plans to dedicate even more resources to addressing and overcoming the global overuse of antibiotics, specifically of those used in the food supply. It’s estimated that 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are used on livestock and poultry, which increases the chances for bacteria in the environment to develop resistance to these critically important drugs.
Algal Scientific has already made significant strides in combating this challenge by creating Algamune, the world’s first beta glucan commercially produced from algae. Algamune is produced by growing a selected strain of natural, non-GMO microalgae in controlled, sterile fermentation systems so that it contains high concentrations of beta-1,3-glucan, which has long been known for its ability to naturally support a healthy immune system. Introducing Algamune into the diets of livestock and poultry can naturally support the animal’s immune system without having to rely on antibiotics.
“There is no question that antibiotic resistance is a problem that is only going to get worse unless significant changes are made to the way we utilize antibiotics in our food sources,” said Geoff Horst, CEO at Algal Scientific. “We are so grateful that Formation 8, Evonik Venture Capital, Independence Equity and our other investors have had the foresight to get ahead of this growing issue by showing their support – twice now – for Algal Scientific’s vision. With this financial support we will continue our efforts to disrupt the agriculture space in a way that has lasting benefits on both animal and human health.”
According to the most recent annual research report issued by the Michigan Venture Capital Association, Michigan has positioned itself as a state of innovation that has created an attractive environment for completing venture capital deals. The state’s entrepreneurial climate has also been ranked as the sixth-best in the nation, according to a recent MiQuest report card.
About Algal Scientific
Algal Scientific leverages extensive expertise in biology, engineering to create innovative solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges – namely a clean water supply and the conservation of natural resources. Algal Scientific is dedicated to providing cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions that help meet these challenges.
Through an added focus on beta glucan produced in algae, Algal Scientific is creating effective solutions that reduce the overuse of antibiotics in the food supply. These efforts contribute to the global, long-term support of animal and human immune health.
The Algal Scientific team, led by CEO Geoff Horst who has a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, brings together scientists with backgrounds in algae, immune health, and fermentation, along with experts with decades of experience in animal health and feed ingredients. Algal Scientific was formed in 2009 after winning the inaugural DTE Clean Energy Competition hosted by the University of Michigan and DTE Energy. Since then, the company has gone on to win several other awards and competitions including the $500,000 Grand Prize in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. For more information, visit www.algalscientific.com.
About Formation 8 Partners
Formation 8 is a venture capital firm that provides financial and strategic capital to early growth smart enterprise and energy technology companies. We support entrepreneurs who seek to transform the most important global industries by solving hard problems with technology solutions. Partnership is in our DNA. We value trusted relationships with entrepreneurs, investors, and strategic partners through our global network. For more information, visit www.formation8.com.
About Evonik Venture Capital
Within its venture capital activities Evonik Industries, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, plans to invest a total of €100 million in highly promising start-ups with break-through technologies and leading specialist venture capital funds. These investments will focus on Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Partnering with innovative start-up companies supplements Evonik’s approach of open innovation and creates excellent opportunities for accelerating the development of new businesses and opening up future growth fields. For more information visit their website at www.evonik.com/venturing.
About Independence Equity
Independence Equity I, LP is an early-stage venture capital fund focused on technologies that improve resource utilization. These include technologies that reduce input costs such as raw materials, energy and labor, improve yield in production processes, or decrease waste or scrap. The fund’s interests comprise sectors such as material science, industrial innovation, and clean technologies. For more information visit their website at www.independence-equity.com.