PURE Ocean Algae, a Macro-algae-based biotechnology company based on the Beara is to invest more than €3m over the next two years in building out and growing its business platform as well as creating new jobs in West Cork.
Led by ceo, Michael O’Neill, the company operates its own land-based hatchery, nursery and processing facility while also developing 80 hectares of licensed sea sites for the growing of various seaweed species.
The investment, after completing, a seed funding round, will be used to expand the existing land-based facilities to cater for 250 hectares of sea site production and ancillary services.
Working with existing seaweed farmers the company hopes to expand to a production area of 500 hectares over the next three years.
Pure Ocean Algae already employs five full-time employees and two part-time. With this investment the team employed in Beara will increase to 12 full-time employees.
Michael said: ‘This funding will allow us to expand our land-based production sites, our sea-based capabilities, and will allow us to expand our R&D and implementation teams.
‘We are also investigating various opportunities to develop the services element of the business through international partnerships and collaborations to bring our technology to a global audience.’
Formed in 2019, Pure Ocean Algae is the first commercial end-to-end production platform to produce the red seaweed Palmaria palmata, commonly known as Dulse. Dulse is a highly prized red seaweed used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food/vegetable protein sectors.
Macro-algae species are particularly high in protein and are environmentally sustainable, commanding retail prices of more than €120 per dried Kg dried and grow very well under Irish conditions.
The existing natural sources are coming under more and more pressure from over exploitation and destruction of its natural habitat, something that Pure Ocean Algae would like to see reversed.
This round of funding was led by The Yield Lab, Europe’s largest early-stage Ag-Tech investor which is itself supported by Enterprise Ireland and AIB.