€28.5m for microalgae expert Microphyt

French microalgae specialist Microphyt has raised €28.5m to develop its microalgae portfolio for nutrition and cosmetics

Anti-aging creams and weight-loss supplements: natural products for nutrition and cosmetics are booming. In order to tap into this market, French Microphyt is harnessing the active molecules present in microalgae. Now, investors have rewarded that approach with a €28.5m financing round. The investment was co-led by Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance, through the “Sociétés de Projets Industriels” fund (“SPI fund”), together with IXO-Private Equity and Sofilaro. Existing investors, Supernova Invest, Demeter Partners and Irdi Soridec also participated in the new financing round.

Microphyt plans to use the funds to accelerate the development of the product portfolio, to expand sales network globally, and to increase production capacity of its industrial platform. Since 2009, Microphyt has developed a proprietary production technology to access the large diversity of natural substances within microalgae. This patented process, developed in-house, is based on 5,000-litre tubular photobioreactors, which offer both high differentiation potential and the ability to supply natural active ingredients in an industrial and standardised way.

The Baillargues-based company is also developing a portfolio of 10 nutritional active ingredients and 20 cosmetic active and functional ingredients, which contribute to improving the wellbeing of the elderly, preventing certain metabolic disorders, facilitating an active lifestyle and protecting the skin from various stresses. To achieve this, Microphyt will strengthen its team and will significantly increase its ingredient production capacity over the next 18 months. “For several years now, Microphyt was actively committed to unlocking the full potential of microalgae amazing diversity through our unique technology platform,” commented Vincent Usache, CEO of Microphyt. “With this funding, we will speed up the development and supply of novel natural products that solve the key challenges of Nutrition & Wellbeing.”

“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,” added Denis Lucquin, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners.

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