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£500k from trio of investors

Funding deal boosts farm food breakthrough

Douglas Martin

Douglas Martin: ‘huge deal’


 

A process that could revolutionise the animal and fish feed industries has received £500,000 from a a number of investors.

MiAlgae, developed by masters graduate Douglas Martin, uses a byproduct of whisky distilling to produce a raw material for agricultural food products.

The company is initially targeting the aquaculture industry, whose future growth is predicted to require new sources of feed.

Mr Martin will be looking to expand the company’s production capacity 30-fold and will be expanding his team of two, to reach five.

Aquaculture is worth £1.8 billion a year to the Scottish economy, according to latest Scottish Government figures.

The investment, in equal shares from Equity Gap, the Scottish Investment Bank and the University’s venture fund Old College Capital, will enable the company to expand its team and build a pilot plant for its technology at a whisky distillery.

Mr Martin said: “This is a huge deal for us. This investment will fund the initial scale-up steps and de-risk our commercial facility. It certainly sets us on track to achieve our ambitions.”

He obtained a Smart: Scotland grant in 2017 and has had competition success including Scottish EDGE Young EDGE and Innovate UK.




He was recently named Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year and recently pitched at the final of the 2018 Scottish EDGE competition with the chance of being awarded an additional £100,000.

Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “This is an exciting new equity investment for Scottish Enterprise into a company that has utilised the circular economy to make an innovative and valuable product.

“The funding round will also allow high value R&D employment opportunities to be created in rural Scotland with the roll out of the new pilot plant.”

Dr George Baxter, chief executive at Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s industry engagement service, said: “The innovation of his process and the way it will help the environment have great potential.”

Fraser Lusty, director at business angel group Equity Gap, added: “Douglas is an exceptional talent and has made remarkable progress in a novel solution for sustainable food production.”



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