NEW YORK — Danone Manifesto Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Paris-based Danone, led a $7 million Series A funding round raised by Hawaii startup Symbrosia, developer of a seaweed feed additive that reduces livestock methane emissions by more than 80%.
Following two years of research on seaweed breeding and cultivation technology, Symbrosia is set to scale production of seaweed strains that are more productive, potent and resilient than wild populations to bring its livestock feed additive SeaGraze to market.
“During the past two years of research, we pushed the boundaries in seaweed breeding to develop high-performing seaweed strains,” said Alexia Akbay, founder and chief executive officer of Symbrosia. “This Series A funding round marks a critical inflection point where we shift our focus to bringing this innovation to market at scale, as quickly as possible, with strategic partners in Hawaii, California and the Pacific Northwest. The support from Danone Manifesto Ventures and our other investors, existing and new, will enable us to increase seaweed production by a factor of 1,000, round out our team expertise with strategic hires, and put SeaGraze in the hands of visionary companies and livestock producers to create the world’s most sustainable livestock supply chains. Now is our moment to take action on methane.”
Additional investors in the funding round include previous seed investors Pacific6 and HATCH, new investors Presidio Ventures, Kamehameha Schools and Mana Up, and individuals including farmers and seaweed enthusiasts. The funding will support Symbrosia’s plans to max out production at its pilot facility and to build a larger production facility in Hawaii. The company previously completed a trial on an organic farm in New York, confirming drastic methane reduction and establishing proof of concept.“We are thrilled to be partnering with Alexia and the Symbrosia team,” said Jean Prevot, vice president of operations and sustainability at Danone Manifesto Ventures. “We are impressed by the drive and passion they have to meaningfully address climate change through the reduction of livestock methane emissions. Given Danone’s leadership in the global dairy industry, this investment also complements our portfolio of strong solutions to help us and our partners achieve carbon neutrality across our value chain by 2050.”