Managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French state, the Ecotechnologies Fund is part of the Programme d’Investissements d Avenir or Program of Investments for the Future entrusted to Environment and Energy Management Agency, the ADEME. Today, the fund has made its fifth investment, contributing €4.6 million to Fermentalg’s €12 million capital increase alongside IRDI and Viveris Management as well as historic investors Emertec gestion, Demeter Partners, ACE Management (Atalaya), Picoty Algo Carburant and Sofiproteol.
Based in Libourne, Fermentalg was founded in 2009 by Pierre Calleja and has developed a groundbreaking technology for breeding microalgae used in the industrial production of molecules of interest for a variety of markets, from food and animal feed to specialty chemicals, health, cosmetics and biofuels. Its technological expertise in heterotrophic and mixotrophic harvesting for which it has the exclusive intellectual property rights worldwide, has enabled Fermentalg to rapidly convince industry leaders of the value of its findings and led to the signing of major industrial and commercial partnerships. The added value of the technology developed and patented by Fermentalg resides in its capacity to produce molecules of interest with a remarkable level of economic and ecological competitiveness on an industrial scale.
The creation in 2011 of Prolealg, a joint venture with Sofiproteol that uses this technology in the wide-scale production of Omega-3 derived from microalgae, is the perfect illustration of Fermentalg’s strategy to achieve new market share by drawing on the industrial and sector expertise of benchmark players.
Thanks to its advances in the field, Fermentalg has successfully completed its third round of financing and raised €12 million in funding that will enab le it to roll out the production of molecules of interest on an industrial scale and on the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets.
“I am extremely honored by the faith of our new and prestigious investors, starting with Bpifrance, as well as by their recognition for this technology of excellence developed by Fermentalg and our capacity to very rapidly scale up to industrial exploitation. By joining forces, we have the potential to make Fermentalg, a French company with its roots in the Aquitaine region, a European and then a global leader in the industrial production of microalgae. Two years after the arrival of Paul Michalet who has worked successfully at my side on the financing and business development of our company, this investment will allow me to reinforce Fermentalg’s management to oversee the operational aspects of this next deployment phase. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our longstanding shareholders who have once again confirmed their confidence in our potential to create value” said Pierre Calleja, founder and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fermentalg.
“Bpifrance is delighted to invest in Fermentalg. The company’s innovation in microalgae-derived production processes means we can look forward to the roll-out in the very near future of industrial operational units for the production of a wide variety of compounds under improved economic and environmental conditions. This approach, which privileges the development of production technologies that use renewable resources as an alternative to traditional techniques that use petrochemicals,is perfectly in keeping with the fundamental mission of the Ecotechnologies Fund” added Gilles Schang, Chief Investment Officer at Bpifrance Investissement.
“For the Emertec 4 seed fund, which took the risk of financing Fermentalg’s first proofs of concept based entirely on the strength of conviction of an exceptional entrepreneur, this new round is a decisive milestone in its strategic development. The quality of the investors it has brought together and its optimal size will enable us to fully harness all of the potential behind this groundbreaking technology which is destined for numerous markets and the very highest levels of research worldwide” said Bernard Maître, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Emertec gestion.