FRANCE – Algaia, a company that developes plant-based meat applications from seaweed has raised €2.2 million (US$2.38m) in its latest investment round to continue fueling its double-digit growth.
Algaia, which recorded a 17% sales growth in 2019 and an additional 25% sales growth over the first four months of 2020, said that it will use the new capital infusion to accelerate growth through new product developments.
The company has invested total of €7 million in its manufacturing facility in Lannilis, Britany, France, with another €1 million at its R&D facility in Saint-Lô, Normandy over the past three year.
In 2019, Algaia inaugurated an industrial pilot production line in the Saint-Lô site. In addition to the capacity expansions, Frederic Faure, Business Development Director for Algaia says that the company has witnessed robust growth in the recent past.
Faure says that in 2019, the company grew at a double-digit rate in nutrition and cosmetic business activity, and experienced triple-digit growth in active ingredients used in plant care.
“Sales grew dramatically across a range of segments, and we recorded even higher demand in vegan applications where a series of new seaweed-based products, developed under the VegAlg umbrella, was recently launched.
“Moreover, the Covid-19 breakout is creating a paradigm shift toward even more traceable, secured food solutions that are in line with our new seaweed portfolio and long-term sustainability strategy.” Faure notes that 30% of Algaia’s sales is coming from new products.
One of Algaia’s main growth engine is a new range of seaweed-based texturing solutions named VegAlg designed to contribute shape and structure, and add juiciness to plant-based burgers.
The company has also launched a new solution, Algogel MVA series, which is specifically designed for meat analogues. Algaia explains that the solution can replace cellulosic products traditionally used for structure in vegetable protein products.
“Alginates improves the interaction between the protein, lipid, and water components of the food system. Algogel works by naturally helping these components form a stable structure, which leads to enhanced texture and flavor resulting in a juicy veggie burger that consumers crave,” the biomarine firm says.
To ensure a constant fresh local and renewable supply of seaweed biomass, Algaia works with local fishermen to harvest brown algae just a few kilometers from its plant in Brittany, France.
The company says that it is committed to full control over its supply and ensuring that its customers receive sustainable, high-quality, plant-based products.
“We can already see a shift toward sustainable products like seaweed extracts as consumers seek more sustainable, locally sourced ingredients,” says Faure. “They want suppliers they can trust and who have been able to come forward and maintain reliability during this unique situation.”