Irish Seaweed Biotech company Pure Ocean Algae, a macroalgae-based biotechnology company based on the Beara peninsula, has successfully completed a seed funding round. The company will invest more than €3 million over the next two years in building out and growing its business platform as well as creating new jobs in West Cork.
Formed in 2019, Pure Ocean Algae is the first commercial end-to-end production platform to produce the red seaweed Palmaria palmata, commonly known as Dulse. Dulse is a highly prized red seaweed used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food/vegetable protein sectors.
Led by CEO Michael O’Neill, the company operates its own land-based hatchery, nursery, and processing facility, and is developing eighty hectares of licensed sea sites for growing various seaweed species. The investment will be used to expand the existing land-based facilities for 250 hectares of sea site production and ancillary services. Working with existing seaweed farmers the company hopes to expand to a production area of 500 hectares over the next three years.
“This funding will allow us to expand our land-based production sites, our sea-based capabilities, and will allow us to expand our R&D and implementation teams,” said Mr. O’Neill. “We are also investigating various opportunities to develop the services element of the business through international partnerships and collaborations to bring our technology to a global audience.”
This round of funding was led by The Yield Lab, Europe’s largest early-stage Ag-Tech investor, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and AIB. Also joining this funding are the West Cork based Carbery Group, US based Sea-ahead Blue Angel Group and Enterprise Ireland.
Commenting on the investment, David Bowles, Managing Partner at The Yield lab Europe said, “We are very excited to be supporting Michael and the team at Pure Ocean Algae. The Blue economy is a very vibrant space currently and critical for Europe to deliver on its climate commitments. At The Yield Lab we have seen a lot of companies that are attempting to deliver seaweed related solutions and we were very impressed with the quality and sophistication of what the team has delivered. We had no hesitation in investing in such a world leading product.”
Pure Ocean Algae currently employs five full time employees and two part time. With this investment the team employed in Beara will increase to twelve fulltime employees.
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