Symbrosia, a Hawai’i-based startup with a seaweed feed additive that reduces livestock methane emissions, has received $7 million from Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of global food and beverage company, Danone.
Symbrosia completed the world’s first commercial Asparagopsis taxiformis trial in 2020, testing SeaGraze™ on an organic farm in Dover Plains, New York, where they confirmed “drastic methane reduction.” After this successful proof of concept, with scalable production in mind, the company focused on research and technological development. During this phase, Symbrosia developed robust A. taxiformis strains, substantially improving the pace and unit economics of SeaGraze™ production.
Founder and CEO Alexia Akbay, a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient for Social Impact in 2022, said, “During the past two years of research, we pushed the boundaries in seaweed breeding to develop high-performing seaweed strains. This Series A funding round marks a critical inflection point where we shift our focus to bringing this innovation to market at scale, as quickly as possible, with strategic partners in Hawaii, California, and the Pacific Northwest.
“The support from Danone Manifesto Ventures and our other investors, existing and new, will enable us to increase seaweed production by a factor of 1,000, round out our team expertise with strategic hires, and put SeaGraze™ in the hands of visionary companies and livestock producers to create the world’s most sustainable livestock supply chains. Now is our moment to take action on methane.”
For Danone, this investment aligns with its goal of becoming carbon neutral across its full value chain by 2050. Additional investors in the funding round include previous seed investors, Pacific6 and HATCH, new investor Presidio Ventures, and new Hawaiian investors Kamehameha Schools and Mana Up, along with individual local investors, farmers, and seaweed enthusiasts.
Jean Prevot, Vice President, Operations and Sustainability at Danone Manifesto Ventures added, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Alexia and the Symbrosia team. Given Danone’s leadership in the global dairy industry, this investment also complements our portfolio of strong solutions to help both us and our partners achieve carbon neutrality across our value chain by 2050.”
With the infusion of capital, Symbrosia plans to max out production in its pilot facility at its headquarters, which sits within the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii’s Ocean Science and Technology Park — and build a larger production facility to continue the exponential scale-up.
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