Danone leads funding round for startup seeking to reduce livestock emissions

USA – Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV), a corporate venture arm of French dairy giant Danone, led a Series A funding round for Symbrosia, a US-based feed additive startup.

Based in Hawaii, Sybrosia is developing a seaweed feed additive that is perceived to reduce livestock methane emissions by more than 80%.

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The seeding round raised US$7 million that will be used to scale production of Symbrosia’s seaweed strains and bring SeaGraze to market in an effort to dramatically reduce livestock methane emissions.

The startup also plans to build a larger production facility in Hawaii to continue the scale-up of the production of the SeaGraze following two years of research on seaweed breeding and cultivation technology.

The funding will further support Symbrosia’s plans to max out production at its pilot facility after previously completing a trial on an organic farm in New York, confirming drastic methane reduction and establishing proof of concept.

Founder and CEO Alexia Akbay said, “During the past two years of research, we pushed the boundaries in seaweed breeding to develop high-performing seaweed strains. “

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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.”

He added that the support from Danone Manifesto Ventures and other investors, existing and new, will enable the company to increase seaweed production by a factor of 1,000.

It will also help to round out the team’s 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.

Jean Prevot, vice president, of operations and sustainability at DMV commented that the startup has completed the world’s first commercial A. taxiformis trial in 2020, testing SeaGraze on an organic farm in Dover Plains, New York, where it “confirmed drastic methane reduction.

With that achievement, DMV is impressed by the drive and passion Symbrosia has to meaningfully address climate change through the reduction of livestock methane emissions, he stressed.

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Prevot stated that given Danone’s leadership in the global dairy industry, this investment also complements its portfolio of strong solutions to help the French dairy and its partners achieve carbon neutrality across our value chain by 2050.

The US$7 million funding round also saw participation from previous seed investors Pacific6 and HATCH.

It also attracted interest from new investors Presidio Ventures, Kamehameha Schools, and Mana Up, as well as individuals including farmers and seaweed enthusiasts.

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