Ocean farming startup Sea6 Energy has raised $18.5 million in a Series B funding round from German BASF’s corporate venture company BASF Venture Capital GmbH, and Dutch investment fund Aqua-Spark.
Sea6 Energy, which is engaged in the production and processing of tropical red seaweed, was founded in 2010 by Nelson Vadassery, Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Sowmya Balendiran and Sri Sailaja Nori. The company develops proprietary technologies to convert seaweed into biofuel, plant growth stimulants, plant defence products, animal feed ingredients, and other bio-renewable products to replace chemicals and plastics.
BASF Venture Capital GmbH, which often invests in seed to Series B rounds of startups, is focused on the areas of chemistry, new materials, and sustainability, among others.
“With its extensive experience in the field of biotechnology, the team has created very good upstream conditions for cultivating red seaweed as biomass on a large scale while also demonstrating success downstream through its biorefinery. This opens up opportunities for transitioning traditionally crude-dependent industries such as the chemical industry to renewable feedstocks,” Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital GmbH, said.
Sea6 Energy is headquartered in Bangalore, India, while in Bali, Indonesia, it has set up a fully-owned subsidiary that carries out commercial seaweed farming. Sea6 operates various plants in Tuticorin, India, for the further processing of red seaweed for different applications.
The transaction also provides partial exit and liquidity to Tata Capital Innovations Fund. Tata Capital participated in the startup’s Series A round in 2015.
Sea6’s funding comes less than six months after Chennai-based aqua farmers network startup Aquaconnect raised $8 million in a venture debt funding round led by Trifecta Capital. Some of the other aquaculture companies in India include Eruvaka Technologies, FishChain, Seagrass Tech and Bariflo Labs