Global Agriculture

Caixa Capital Risc and the State of Spain become shareholders of AlgaEnergy to accelerate the growth of the microalgae biotech sector

12 July 2021, Spain: This represents a significant capital increase that AlgaEnergy and its management team will leverage to strengthen its international footprint.

AlgaEnergy, a leading international company in the microalgae biotechnology sector, has signed an investment agreement with two new partners: Caixa Capital Risc and CDTI. Caixa Capital Risc is CriteriaCaixa’s venture capital management company (CaixaBank), and the CDTI, is a public entity promoting innovation and technological development among Spanish companies. The agreement signals the entry of both companies into the shareholding structure of AlgaEnergy, as minor shareholders. This represents a significant capital increase that AlgaEnergy and its management team will leverage to strengthen its international footprint, expand its production facilities in Spain, launch new business units such as food and cosmetics, and accelerate its promising product development pipeline of microalgae-based solutions.

Boosting the microalgae biotechnology sector

Microalgae are a diverse group of unicellular photosynthetic microorganisms that can thrive in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. Their biodiversity and numerous applications across various sectors grant them a unique potential to contribute to a more sustainable society. Due to their rapid reproduction rate and the non-competition with other raw materials for fertile lands, they represent an important biological resource.

They are currently being used as raw material to develop biological inputs for agriculture, human and animal nutrition supplements, functional ingredients for cosmetic formulas, or natural colorants, amongst others. Its application in the pharmaceutical, bioremediation or energetic sectors, is also being researched.

AlgaEnergy, which was established in 2007, has been a pioneer in the field of microalgae biotechnology research, production and commercialization, being the first company to use industrial CO2 from other sources to grow microalgae, or the first to focus on agriculture as a target sector. The company accumulates over five decades of microalgae-specific knowledge generated by its team led by Professor Miguel García Guerrero, one of the few researchers internationally recognized as authorities in the field of microalgae, and Chief Scientific Officer of AlgaEnergy .

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The biotech company operates probably the most advanced industrial production plant for microalgae in the world, which includes technology that has been developed together with the Japanese tech-multinational Yokogawa, specialized in industrial automation and shareholder of AlgaEnergy since 2018. Its main production facility is located annexed to Spain’s largest combined cycle power plant, owned by Iberdrola, a world leader in renewable energy and a technological partner of AlgaEnergy since 2009. AlgaEnergy’s microalgae-based products are already used by over 2 million satisfied farmers worldwide, who are implementing more sustainable farming practices without compromising their competitiveness. On the contrary, their profitability is improved as they increase their yields and optimize the qualitative traits of their outputs, while making their crops more resilient to stresses.

United by a common commitment: generate positive impact on society

The agreement represents an important boost for the Spanish biotechnology sector, which enjoys a privileged position in terms of global competitiveness. The union of AlgaEnergy, Caixa Capital Risc and INNVIERTE signifies a shared objective to make a positive impact on the society through business practices that are sustainable, innovative and generate added value.

Augusto Rodríguez-Villa, President of AlgaEnergy, highlighted that “this agreement is the best possible partnership in the journey to achieve our mission to leverage the potential of microalgae worldwide. We share with our new shareholders the same vision for the future, the belief that a more sustainable development is possible and that microalgae can be a key contributor towards that objective.”

On the other hand, Felipe Matías, Director of Industrial Investments at CriteriaCaixa, pointed out that “we are very proud to enter into the share capital of AlgaEnergy, a company with a firm commitment to innovation and sustainability, and whose business model fits perfectly in the investment portfolio of Caixa Capital Risc.”

Susana Rodríguez, Manager of the program INNVIERTE, has pointed out that “from INNVIERTE we are very satisfied to be able to support a company like AlgaEnergy, which is clearly committed to sustainability and contributes to the development of a highly innovative productive fabric.”