Algama, pioneer in microalgae-based ingredients, closes €13 million financing round to boost egg replacement
January 10, 2023 - 7 min read
Paris, January 10, 2023 — The French company Algama, creator of microalgae-based food ingredients, closes a €13M Series A financing round. This round marked the entry into the capital of impact investors - Noshaq, Newtree Impact, and Beyond Impact - and significant international groups of the food industry: Grupo Bimbo, Thai Union Group and more. These new resources allow Algama to carry out an ambitious industrial development plan, with the opening of a plant in Belgium, and to position itself as a critical player in the food industry's transition to using new proteins.
Raw materials have been under pressure for years - the egg market has been particularly volatile - the food industry is gradually turning to better environmental impact and innovative solutions. In this respect, the alternative represented by microalgae in daily food is an ideal resource at all levels: their production respects the environment, and their consequent nutritional contributions in proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids meet the expectations of consumers and therefore of agribusinesses.
Algama, the pioneer in the use of microalgae in human food
Founded in 2013 and with operations in France, Belgium, and the United States, Algama has become a key player in using microalgae in human food. Thanks to unique processes for separating and formulating microalgae, Algama can offer customized alternative solutions free of the constraints usually associated with using microalgae. A sustainable and ethical solution, but also highly competitive because it is less expensive than its counterparts.
"Our patented seaweed processing allows us to produce high-quality, lowcost, environmentally friendly plant ingredients. The flavors stay true because Algama offers above all delicious products." - Alvyn Severien, cofounder and CEO of Algama
The solutions are widely proven and ready to be scaled up to position Algama as a global leader in this cutting-edge sector. Growth objectives were made possible by the confidence of historical shareholders, such as Beyond Impact, investors specialized in impact - Noshaq and Newtree Impact - and heavyweights of the food industry: Grupo Bimbo, and Thai Union Group.
Tamalga® a range of industrial ingredients replacing eggs validated by the market. The egg market - worth more than 200 billion euros worldwide - is under severe pressure due to increased raw materials, energy prices, and repeated avian flu outbreaks. As a result, prices have sometimes been multiplied by 6 in some regions of the world and many food industry players are facing shortages.
Algama brings together researchers, engineers, nutritionists, and chefs on an innovation platform of 40 people. The company offers expertise ranging from the selection of algae to the formulation of ingredients. Moreover, Algama accompanies its customers in the largescale industrialization of plant-based products in France and abroad by offering a customized service. The company's flagship product, Tamalga®, replaces eggs in many industrial applications, particularly in the bakery, pastry and confectionery industries (buns, cookies, puddings, madeleines, waffles, etc.).
"Algama's ingredients and products are totally disruptive: they actively participate in the reduction of the climate footprint of the food chain by replacing animal proteins with plant proteins, and they revolutionize the food industry at the taste, nutritional and functional levels. And exceptionally in this emerging sector, they are very competitive in terms of price, which promises them a very bright future." - Benoît de Bruyn, Founder and CEO of Newtree Impact
The potential is enormous; massive players in the baking market are using new plantbased or egg-substitute lines in their products that have already hit the shelves. New uses for texturizing and nutritionally enhancing products, such as meat or fish analogues, are also emerging.
Opening of the first plant to meet the demand for biobased ingredients
Holder of 25 patents in 31 countries, Algama is now ready to move up a gear by expanding its innovative solutions within an ambitious industrial plan to meet the strong market demand.
"By scaling up to a larger industrial scale, Algama can have a strong impact in the face of the global emergency and change the food industry system by democratizing algae in our daily diet." - Alvyn Severien
To meet this demand while remaining close to its strategic partners, Algama has chosen to set up its first factory on a 10,000 m2 industrial site located in Liege, Belgium.
- Financing obtained: 13 million euros
- Number of patents: 25
- Number of employees: 40
- Planned recruitments: 50
- Size of the site in Belgium: 10 000 m2
- Size of the egg market (value): over 200 billion euros per year
- Egg market size (quantity): nearly 100 billion kilograms per year
Founded in 2013, Algama has become a significant player in the use of microalgae in human food. Algae are emerging as a staple in today's food industry. Bringing together researchers, engineers and nutritionists on an innovation platform, the company offers expertise ranging from the selection of algae to the formulation of ingredients and the large-scale industrialization of plant-based products in France and abroad. Algama is supported by its historical investors, such as Horizons Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, CPT Capital, Veginvest, Alwyn Capital, and others. https://algamafoods.com
Noshaq is an investment fund and project developer with a portfolio of 469 companies. Noshaq is the financial partner of reference for the creation and development of SMEs in the Liege region. Over the years, Noshaq has developed a range of financing vehicles in line with the needs and trends of the market and with its strategy. Each service offer proposed by Noshaq is always determined according to the demand and the needs of the owner-investor. The objective is always to have a leverage effect on the company's development. www.noshaq.be
Newtree Impact is an industrial holding company listed on Euronext Access (NEWT) that aims to provide access to impact investing to all, while supporting companies that revolutionize the food chain. Newtree has already invested in more than ten companies ranging from alternative proteins (plant-based and fermentation and/or cell-based, USA and CH), to technological disruption of aquaculture chains and systems (Aqua-Spark, NL), the world's largest industrially produced insect factory (Protix, NL) and bacterial phages to counter the rise of antibiotic resistance (Proteon Pharmaceuticals, PL). www.newtreeimpact.com
About Beyond Impact
Beyond Impact Advisors is a Swiss-based advisory firm specializing in investments which resolve the problem of the use of animals for food, materials, clothing, ingredients, animal testing, among others, by providing humane, sustainable, and economically-viable alternatives. Led by Claire Smith, a 36-year veteran of the finance industry, the team incorporates specialists in venture capital, impact investment, food production and consumer brands and company mentoring. Beyond Impact provides institutional programs, angel investment programs and co-investments managed to the common theme of removing animal exploitation from the economy. www.beyondinvesting.com
About Grupo Bimbo
Grupo Bimbo is the leader and largest baking Company in the world and a relevant participant in snacks. Grupo Bimbo has 203 bakeries and other plants and more than 1,600 sales centers strategically located in 33 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Its main product lines include sliced bread, buns & rolls, pastries, cakes, cookies, toast bread, English muffins, bagels, tortillas & flatbreads and salty snacks, among others. Grupo Bimbo produces over 10,000 products and has one of the largest direct distribution networks in the world, with more than 3.3 million points of sale, more than 55,000 routes and over 138,000 associates. Its shares trade on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) under the ticker symbol BIMBO, and in the over-the-counter market in the United States with a Level 1 ADR, under the ticker symbol BMBOY. The company occasionally invests in start-ups through Bimbo Ventures, its Corporate Venture arm.
About Thai Union Group
Thai Union Group PCL is the world's seafood leader, bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for 45 years.
Today, Thai Union is regarded as one of the world's leading seafood producers and is one of the largest producers of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 141.0 billion (US$ 4.5 billion) and a global workforce of more than 44,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.
The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, Hawesta, and Rügen Fisch, Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, OMG Meat, Bellotta and Marvo, and ingredient and supplement brands UniQ®BONE, UniQ®DHA and ZEAvita.
As a company committed to “Healthy Living, Healthy Oceans,” Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, a founding participating company of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), and current Chair of Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS). Thai Union's on-going work through its SeaChange® sustainability strategy was recognized when the company was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the eighth consecutive year in 2021. Thai Union was also named to the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the sixth straight year in 2021. Find out more about our work at www.seachangesustainability.org