Algal Scientific recently secured a Series B round of investment worth $7 million. The Plymouth-based biotech startup plans to use the money to commercialize algae-based chemicals that help wean livestock farmers from over using antibiotics on their animals.
"The $7 million is a great thing," says Geoff Horst, CEO of Algal Scientific
. "We're seeing a lot of interest from the agricultural industry."
The 6-year-old startup launched by developing a wastewater treatment system that uses algae to remove nutrients from contaminated water. The leftovers would become the raw materials for biofuel production. It won the grand prize of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition a few years ago and has since raised a combined $10 million in seed capital, including the most recent Series B.
The latest investment was led by Formation 8
, with additional participation from Evonik Industries
and Independence Equity
. Algal Scientific has also received extensive help from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
"Without them we certainly wouldn't be where we are right now," Horst says.
Algal Scientific is now focused on developing agriculture solutions, such as the massive overuse of antibiotics in food supply. Its principal product, Algamune, is the world’s first beta glucan commercially produced from algae, which can be introduced into the diets of livestock and poultry to naturally support the animals' immune systems without relying on antibiotics.
"We have been really ramping up production of the algae," Horst says.
The company has hired five people over the last year. It now employs a staff of 14 employees and the occasional intern.
Source: Geoff Horst, CEO of Algal Scientific
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.