Sustainable, mechanized ocean farming startup, Sea6 Energy raises $9 Million in Series B funding led by Netherlands-based Aqua-Spark, the world’s first investment fund focused on sustainable aquaculture.
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.
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 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.
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.”
Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Managing Director and Co-founder, Sea6 Energy, “We are delighted to be part of Aqua-Spark’s portfolio of companies. Aqua-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.”