£2m raised to unlock seaweed alternative to plastic
Oceanium is developing a compostable bio-packaging material
A Scottish company has raised £2 million to develop a pioneering process that turns seaweed into plant-based foods and an alternative to plastic.
The funding for Oceanium, based in Oban, has been led by Green Angel Syndicate with the World Wildlife Fund.
It will used to open up the market for the growing seaweed farming industry in the food and sustainable packaging industries.
Seaweed farming is a regenerative form of aquaculture that absorbs CO2 and nitrogen, increases biodiversity, and can generate additional income and livelihoods along coastal regions.
Green Angel Syndicate is the UK’s only group of its kind specialising in the fight against climate change, and has helped finance projects with WWF as an anchor investor alongside Syndicate Room, Glass Wall Syndicate members, Kingfisher Capital, and other UK and international investors.
The seed funding round follows early investment from ocean impact VCs Katapult Ocean and Sky Ocean Ventures, as well as Scottish Enterprise.
Oceanium co-founder Karen Scofield Seal said: “The calibre of investors in this round of funding highlights the opportunity and obligation we have to create a market for sustainably farmed seaweed and drive systemic change by providing regenerative food and material sources.
“We will continue to work closely with regional and global conservation partners including WWF, Safe Seaweed Coalition and Seaweed for Europe to ensure we lay the best possible foundations for what will be a transformative industry, in terms of both economic, societal and environmental impact.”
Fellow founder and CTO Charlie Bavington, said: “Our innovative biorefinery process is built on decades of experience and provides the technology needed to extract the maximum value from the seaweed.
“By developing products which are in very high demand including plant-based food ingredients and home compostable biopackaging material, we will drive demand for farmed seaweed in UK, Europe and North America.”
Support for the funding round came from Edinburgh-based legal services firm Vialex, which has worked with Oceanium since shortly after its inception, providing regular advice and expertise on corporate, commercial and IP law via its innovative legal counsel service.
Vialex senior legal adviser, Michael Drysdale, said: “We have supported Oceanium since shortly after the company’s inception and we are delighted to have assisted John, Karen, and Charlie in this latest, exciting round of fundraising to further support development of innovative, sustainably farmed seaweed-based, food & nutrition and bio-packaging products.”
Keith Anderson, Vialex co-founder and CEO, said: “We are able to support a business like Oceanium through every stage of its development and by being advisers to them for their ongoing requirements we get to really know the business. We wish Oceanium every success on the next stage of their journey.”