January 14, 2020


MiAlgae raises US$1.3M to commercialise fish feed derived from whisky distillation waste




Scottish biotech startup MiAlgae is set to focus on the commercialisation of its revolutionary microalgae product, targeting the rapidly growing global aquaculture and pet food industries.


With £1 million (US$1.3 million) raised from various investors including Equity Gap, Scottish Investment Bank, Old College Capital and Hillhouse Group, MiAlgae will double the size of its business premises, commission a demonstrator plant in East Lothian county and make five new appointments in the next 12 months, reports the Scottish Business News.


MiAlgae uses co-products from the whisky distillation process to produce microalgae, which are high in omega 3 and other nutrients. The algae can be used to sustainably feed fish, and MiAlgae estimates that one tonne of its algae saves up to 30 tonnes of wild fish.


"MiAlgae has essentially taken a by-product from one industry and turned it into a solution for another industry. Through the application of biotechnology, MiAlgae is finding solutions to feed the world's population, and with the global aquaculture industry set to double in size in the next ten years, this is a very promising business indeed", said Andrew Vernon of Hillhouse Group, one of the investors in the commercialization project.


Fraser Lusty, investment director at Equity Gap, another investor said: "Since our last investment in MiAlgae 18 months ago, the business has achieved a great deal, designing and building its pilot plant, making its first sales to a premium dog food company, and beginning production with its first large scale tank.


He added: "The business now turns its focus to commercialisation and scaling up. The global pet food market is worth $100 billion and growing at around 5%. MiAlgae plans to supply customers in both the pet food market and the aquacultural industry in the next 12 months. This is an exciting business, and one to watch over the next couple of years."


Douglas Martin founded MiAlgae in 2016 while studying biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh.


"I am really pleased that with this investment we can turn our attention to growing the business. We plan to target the pet food and aquaculture industries with our sustainable, ocean-friendly, algae-derived omega 3", Martin said.