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Swedish Algae Factory raises SEK 53 million for algae production expansion

In Sweden, Swedish Algae Factory, a Swedish start-up company that is developing a novel algae cultivation and wastewater treatment system, has recently secured SEK 53 million (≈ EUR 4.77 million) in a new investment round. The investment will help scale up production for continued expansion.

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Founded in 2014, Swedish Algae Factory has its origins in Professor and co-founder Angela Wulff’s research at Chalmers on diatoms, unicellular algae with siliceous cell walls that also have a unique ability to capture light. When the nanoporous silicon material is placed on a solar photovoltaic (PV) cell, the efficiency of the PV cell is increased reducing the kWh cost of solar power. The company is the only large-scale producer of diatom frustules globally (photo courtesy Swedish Algae Factory).

Investors in the round include Chalmers Ventures, the start-up venture arm of the Chalmers University of Technology, Aqua-Spark, a Dutch investment company with a focus on sustainable aquaculture, Swedish venture capital, and business development agency Almi Invest and Almi Invest Greentech, Formica Ventures, Mark Hartney, and Gladium AB.

Chalmers Ventures has worked with the company from the start and is impressed with how they have taken the step from research to commercialization. We look forward to following the company closely in an exciting phase with continued expansion and upscaling with a focus on sustainability, said Andreas Höye, Investment Director at Chalmers Ventures.

Exploit light manipulating properties

Swedish Algae Factory is extracting a high-tech material from silica algae, a relatively untapped renewable resource. The material has exceptional light manipulating properties as well as the ability to absorb or release particles depending on the surrounding environment.

There are many uses for silica peel. The material is trademark protected under the name Algica and is of interest to a variety of industries, where it can replace harmful and / or less effective chemical substances.

The material is naturally designed for the capture of visible light, the blocking of harmful UV light and the absorption and delivery of chemical substances. For example, Algica can be used to improve the efficiency of solar panels, as well as for moisturizing, cleaning and UV protection in skincare products.

We are very pleased to now be able to scale up production to meet the growing demand for Algica in the skincare and solar energy industry. We are also pleased to have strong investors with relevant expertise, said Sofie Allert, CEO and co-founder of Swedish Algae Factory.

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