KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Symbrosia, a Hawai’i-based startup with a seaweed feed additive that reduces livestock methane emissions by over 80%, has closed out its Series A funding round with $7 million. After two years of research on seaweed breeding and cultivation technology, Symbrosia has developed strains that are significantly more productive, potent and resilient than wild populations. The company will use the capital to scale production of these breakthrough seaweed strains by orders of magnitude and bring their livestock feed additive, SeaGrazeTM, to market with the world’s most innovative brands and producers.
The funding round is led by Danone Manifesto Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Danone, a leading global food and beverage company. 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.
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 SeaGrazeTM 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.”
Jean Prevot, Vice President, Operations and Sustainability at Danone Manifesto Ventures added, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Alexia and the Symbrosia team. We are impressed by the drive and passion they have to meaningfully address climate change through the reduction of livestock methane emissions. Given Danone’s leadership in the global dairy industry, this investment also complements our portfolio of strong solutions to help us and our partners achieve carbon neutrality across our value chain by 2050.”
Symbrosia completed the world’s first commercial A. taxiformis trial in 2020, testing SeaGrazeTM 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 doubled down on research and technological development. During this phase, Symbrosia developed robust A. taxiformis strains that are a core differentiator, substantially improving the pace and unit economics of SeaGrazeTM production.
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 (NEHLA) Ocean Science and Technology Park, and build a larger production facility to continue the exponential scale-up. The consistent year-round Hawaiian climate, aquaculture innovation ecosystem, and State support have amplified Symbrosia’s success in Hawaii.
A recipient of the Blue Climate Initiative’s 2022 Ocean Innovation Prize, Symbrosia breeds and cultivates fast-growing seaweed strains and develops them into high-value products. Symbrosia has developed SeaGrazeTM, a natural seaweed feed additive that drastically reduces livestock methane emissions. Called “the seaweed that could save the planet” by The Verge, Forbes, and Inc Magazine, SeaGrazeTM is setting a new standard for sustainability in the US beef, dairy, and apparel industries. Symbrosia is scaling SeaGrazeTM production rapidly and partnering with researchers, ranchers, distributors, and brands to build supply chains that reward producers for producing low-methane animal products.
To learn more about Symbrosia, please visit https://symbrosia.co/.
About Danone Manifesto Ventures
Danone Manifesto Ventures is the corporate venture arm of Danone, launched in 2016 with a mission to support the growth of innovative food and foodtech companies and partner with entrepreneurs that share its vision of a healthy and sustainable future. Through its team, aligned with Danone’s mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, Danone Manifesto Ventures makes financial investments and provides strategic and operational support to its portfolio companies while preserving the autonomy required to grow their entrepreneurial projects. Danone Manifesto Ventures has invested in various companies including Harmless Harvest, Forager Project, How Good and Nature’s Fynd in the U.S., Michel et Augustin, Yooji and Phenix in France, Moju in the U.K., and Epigamia in India. In 2018, it became the first corporate venture unit to be independently certified as a B Corp. For more information, go to www.danoneventures.com.