Microphyt, a French provider of microalgae-based natural solutions for nutrition and well-being, has raised $32 million in funding. Sofinnova Partners and BPI France led the round.
BAILLARGUES, France — July 11, 2019 — Microphyt, a leading company in microalgae-based natural solutions for nutrition and well-being, announced a fundraising of €28.5 million (US$32 million). This investment was co-led by Sofinnova Partners and BPI France via the SPI fund (“Sociétés de projets industriels”) managed as part of the “Programme d’investissements d’avenir”, together with IXO-Private Equity and Sofilaro. The existing investors, Supernova Invest, Demeter Partners and Irdi Soridec, renew their confidence in the company by participating in this new round. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of the product portfolio, expand sales network globally, as well as to increase production capacity of Microphyt’s industrial platform.
In nutrition and wellbeing, consumer demand for natural, effective, safe and sustainably produced solutions is booming. The world market for ingredients for these markets, represents more than US$ 70 billion with a share of natural ingredients (US$ 5 billion) that shows the strongest growth (8% per year). Among the natural ingredients, microalgae best meet consumer expectations thanks to their natural diversity, offering richness of molecules that can be produced in a close-controlled and sustainable way.
Since 2009, Microphyt has developed a proprietary production technology that makes it possible to access this diversity while guaranteeing a high level of control and standardization. This patented process, developed in-house, solves the usual drawbacks of microalgae production. It is based on 5,000-litre tubular photobioreactors, which offer both high differentiation potential (access to a new diversity of species) and the ability to supply natural active ingredients in an industrial and standardized way. This technology, operated within an industrial production platform, has already made it possible to establish several commercial partnerships with key players in the sector.
Microphyt has also launched the development of new products that contribute to improving the well-being of the elderly, preventing certain metabolic disorders, facilitating an active lifestyle and protecting the skin from various stresses. A portfolio of 10 nutritional active ingredients and 20 cosmetic active and functional ingredients is being developed. To achieve this, Microphyt will strengthen its team and will significantly increase its ingredient production capacity over the next 18 months.
“This new round is a major milestone in our development and we are pleased that recognized investors in the sector such as Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance are joining us alongside our existing investors to accelerate our development and internationalization,” said Vincent Usache, CEO of Microphyt. “For several years now, Microphyt was actively committed to unlocking the full potential of microalgae amazing diversity through our unique technology platform. With this funding, we will speed up the development and supply of novel natural products that solve the key challenges of Nutrition & Well-being”.
“Microphyt is exactly the type of company that Sofinnova Partners is looking for as a pioneering investor in industrial biotechnology: thanks to its proprietary technology platform and unique production capacity that allows access to the exceptional biodiversity of microalgae, the company is in an ideal position to become one of the world leaders in natural ingredients dedicated to nutrition and well-being,” says Denis Lucquin, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners.
“Microphyt’s innovations are also based on an innovative industrial project,” explains Jean Philippe Richard, Investment Director of the SPI Fund of Bpifrance. “We share this ambition to develop a leading industrial production site in France and to create a European leader with a global vocation. The site will offer multi-product production with high added value while implementing environmentally friendly processes.