A Glasgow-based biotech business, Scot Bio, has raised more than £2 million as part of a private investment funding round.
The firm, which is based at BioCity Glasgow, raised the funding as part of a follow-on deal with an investment syndicate including Oghma Partners, Investing Women and Kelvin Capital, which has more than 180 angel investors.
Private investors from the US and the UK were also involved in the funding round.
The funding will enable Scot Bio to scale up production while expanding its existing team. The company said this will allow it to maintain pace with a rapidly expanding international market for natural colourants.
Commenting on the announcement, Scot Bio’s Chief Executive Officer, David Van Alstyne, said: “This is exciting news for Scot Bio and a demonstration of the high quality of our product and the exceptional team behind it.
“Our ambition is to be the world leader in the production of phycocyanin and other functional food ingredients and with our experienced board, technical and management staff and the support from our friends in academia, I am confident we will do it.”
Scot Bio has pioneered the development of a process to create products free from artificial colours. The patented process uses algae to produce natural colourants using phycocyanin.
Meeting Global Demand
Phycocyanin is a pigment-protein complex found in algae, which traditionally grow in pond systems. Environmental factors, including seasonal changes, restrict the growth of the algae.
Through collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and Newcastle University, the company has been able to create scalable systems, which help keep pace with demand from global food manufacturers.
Following an initial funding round in 2017 – which saw the firm secure £500,000 – the company has reached a production level of 16,000 litres and has developed a host of product samples.
The global demand for phycocyanin is predicted to reach nearly £400 million by 2020.
Scot Bio also launched its first commercial product, Firkin Blue, through a collaboration with Leith-based gin company, Firkin Gin.
Kelvin Capital Director John McNicol said: “We are delighted to continue to support Scot Bio with this large follow-on round of investment, and look forward to its continued rapid progress.”