Also achieves significant scale-up milestone to produce innovative seaweed-based ingredients
The Scottish company Oceanium has announced a fundraise of USD 2.6 million led by existing investor Builders Vision with a final close to be completed by early Autumn. Participation from other existing investors include the World Wildlife Fund and Green Angel Ventures and several new investors from Asia, Europe, and the US. The raise will support Oceanium to scale up its proprietary biorefinery technology to meet market demand for its innovative seaweed ingredients and materials.
“Oceanium is about building partnerships with all of our stakeholders from suppliers to commercial partners and, of course, our committed and supportive investors; we are grateful for the ongoing confidence from the impact investment community. This investment led by Builders Vision will allow Oceanium to scale its proprietary technology to meet the growing demand for its innovative seaweed products and to drive systemic change by contributing towards food security, people health and ocean health,” said Karen Scofield Seal, CEO and Co-Founder, Oceanium.
The company will utilize the financing to commercialize its food ingredients and nutraceutical products, continue development of innovative materials, and complete the preparations for the “shovel-ready” installation of a scaled seaweed biorefinery planned under its Series A fundraising.
This demonstration biorefinery will meet market demand for versatile ingredients and Oceanium’s growing list of B2B customers and build upon a successful 75 tones seaweed processing run in 2023. The funding will also allow Oceanium to bring on a Managing Director as the company moves to international expansion and growth.
“Seaweed can play a valuable role in addressing climate change and creating sustainable food sources, but we need innovators like Oceanium to champion seaweed production and highlight its wide range of uses. Builders Vision is committed to investing in tangible solutions that contribute to a more humane and healthier planet, and we’re honored to continue supporting Oceanium as it looks to scale and accelerate the seaweed farming industry through its innovative processing technology and seaweed-based products,” said for her part James Lindsay, Principal, Builders Initiative Investment Team, Builders Vision.
Maximum value from seaweed
Co-founded in 2018 by Scofield and Charlie Bavington, Oceanium’s mission is to enable and unlock the emerging sustainable seaweed farming industry in the Western hemisphere by extracting maximum value from seaweed.
Using proprietary technology, based on green chemistry principles, Oceanium creates a suite of high-value, in-demand products including food ingredients – Ocean Health Fiber and Ocean Health protein, natural bioactive ingredients for health and cosmetics – Ocean Actives Fucoidan and Ocean Actives Beta-Glucan, and innovative seaweed-based materials to replace resource intensive products.
Seaweed farming is a regenerative form of aquaculture with the potential for numerous environmental, economic, and societal benefits. Oceanium’s biorefinery model provides a path for a scaled seaweed industry to contribute to food security and supply as a volume buyer of farmed seaweed.
Ocean Health Fiber, a sustainable dietary fiber from seaweed, has received GRAS status in the United States (US), regulatory approval in the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU), and is receiving strong commercial traction from global food companies looking to integrate sustainable ingredients into their products.
“We are delighted that our existing investors as well as the new highly renowned impact investors contributed to the success of this financing round. In a short time, we’ve rapidly developed our biorefinery technology from lab bench to TRL 6-8, and some of our ingredients like Ocean Actives Fucoidan to TRL 7/8. This round helps us to achieve the exciting next step of delivering for our customers,” said for his part Charlie Bavington, CTO and Co-Founder.
Processed 79 tones of sustainably farmed
In other order of things, Oceanium reported a ‘momentous achievement’, marking a significant leap forward in their mission “to kelp the world”: they had successfully processed 79 tones of sustainably farmed, European seaweed to prove their highly technical, innovative, and green biorefinery process at scale.
Oceanium is now producing volumes of their innovative and functional seaweed-based ingredients for food, health, skincare, and materials to meet market demand for clean-label ingredients whist also benefiting people health and ocean health.
The predictable and repeatable results of the company’s products Ocean Health Fiber, a dietary fiber for plant-based meats, breads, and soups, plus the high-purity, marine bioactive Ocean Actives Fucoidan for health and skincare has confirmed their successful journey from laboratory-scale to pilot-scale production, they assure.
According to them, samples are available for mission-aligned brands seeking to integrate highly efficacious and more sustainable ingredients and components into their products. “A huge well done to the amazing, dedicated, and hardworking Oceanium team. They are one step closer to our own continuous running biorefinery and unlocking the sustainable seaweed farming industry in the Western hemisphere,” they said.