Australian synthetic biotech company Provectus Algae has raised $11.4 million in a pre-series A funding round led by Hitachi Ventures, a joint venture between Hitachi and Vectr Ventures.
Provectus specialises in biomanufacturing microalgae to produce ingredients for a range of industries and applications. Other investors were Possible Ventures, Acequia Capital, existing shareholders, and additional private investors.
The company will use the funds to expand its sustainable biomanufacturing platform and increase early-stage product development capabilities through research and development (R&D) operations. Provectus said it would also commercialise products that are set for development as well as increase its commercial production capacity.
Provectus Algae CEO Nusqe Spanton said the two companies’ values were closely aligned and he waslooking forward to working with Hitachi Ventures.
“To have the Vectr Ventures team step up again and co-lead this round alongside Hitachi Ventures means a lot to our team. The support they have provided to date has been invaluable and we are pleased to have their continued backing,” Spanton said.
Provectus has been at the forefront of synthetic biology breakthrough. In September, the company received a $250,000 grant co-funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMCG) to commercialise its novel algae manufacturing technology. The project was expected to generate initial revenue of up to $10 million from food and agricultural applications
and create up to 20 new jobs. In July, the company won a Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre grant to advance its R&D and commercialisation program. Currently, the company’s product pipeline includes two recombinant proteins and a suite of natural products in development, with one already under a commercial agreement with a global food and beverage ingredients supplier.
Hitachi Ventures invests in innovative start-ups in the environment and health care sector.
Hitachi Ventures partner Pete Bastien said Provectus was the cornerstone investment in its second funding round because it was a perfect fit for the type of start-ups it invests in.
“Through this investment and more to come, Hitachi is working to solve the global environmental and social issues in collaboration with like-minded, visionary entrepreneurs.
“Together, we are working towards the realisation of a decarbonised sustainable society,” Bastien said.
Click here for the Food & Drink Business podcast episode with Provectus founder and CEO Nusqe Spanton.