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Seaweed Feed Additive Reduces Livestock Methane Emissions by 80%

Hawaiian startup Symbrosia raises $7 million to scale SeaGraze production for cattle producers

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Seaweed powder. PIXABAY
Seaweed powder. PIXABAY

A breakthrough feed additive, SeaGraze, made from seaweed that reduces livestock methane emissions by more than 80% will soon come to market with $7 million in Series A funding.

Hawaiian startup Symbrosia completed the world’s first commercial A. taxiformis seaweed trial in 2020, testing the feed additive on an organic farm in Dover Plains, NY, where drastic methane reduction was confirmed.

After proof of concept, the company shifted its focus to research and development, with scalable production in mind, at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NEHLA) Ocean Science and Technology Park.

Symbrosia spent the next two years piloting a novel seaweed breeding and cultivation technology, which led to the development of strains that are significantly more productive, potent and resilient than wild seaweed populations.

The consistent year-round Hawaiian climate, aquaculture innovation ecosystem and the State's support have amplified Symbrosia’s success in Hawai’i. The company plans to max out production at its pilot facility, and build a larger production facility with the infusion of capitol.

Capital from the funding round, led by Danone Manifesto Ventures, will allow Symbrosia to increase seaweed production by a factor of 1,000, hire additional experts and put SeaGraze in the hands of livestock producers worldwide. SeaGraze will be marketed it to innovative brands and cattle producers to create the world’s most sustainable supply chain, said Symrosia's founder and CEO Alexia Akbay — a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient for Social Impact in 2022.

"Now is our moment to take action on methane," Akbay 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."

Danone's investment and leadership in fund raising aligns with its goal of becoming carbon neutral across its full value chain by 2050. Danone is one of the world’s leading food companies and the global leader in dairy with around 100,000 employees globally and operates in more than 120 countries.

Danone was one of the first 100 companies to align its carbon reduction trajectory with the Paris Agreement. In 2017, the company's emissions reduction targets were approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative as being in line with the global measures necessary to keep global warming below 2° C.

Additional investors 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.

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