KAS announces $3M funding round to expand astaxanthin production

Published: 14-Mar-2024

The company’s approach enables high-quality natural algae astaxanthin production at faster and more affordable rates

Kuehnle AgroSystems (KAS), a company specialising in the production of microalgae, today announced that it has raised a $3 million Series A2 funding round led by S2G Ventures. 

The funding will accelerate the commercialisation of KAS's pioneering method for producing natural astaxanthin from microalgae, a key component in sustainable aquaculture systems as well as a clinically proven human nutraceutical. 

KAS has patented a process that uses dark fermentation in closed vertical tank systems to produce high-quality natural algae astaxanthin. 

Utilising a more sustainable feedstock and production method than current natural and synthetic astaxanthin production methods, KAS’s process results in lower production costs, higher yields, faster growth times and less water and energy consumption.

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties present in natural aquatic algae, which is consumed by salmonids and shrimp and gives these species their characteristic red colour. 

In aquaculture systems, which produce over 50% of the seafood we eat globally, astaxanthin is incorporated to provide similar pigments. However, 95% of astaxanthin currently used in aquaculture feed is synthetic and derived from petrochemicals. 

KAS aims to replace synthetic with natural algal astaxanthin, addressing a market that is estimated to be valued at around $2.34bn per year.

"Strong consumer preference for natural inputs is expected to accelerate the transition from synthetic to natural astaxanthin," said Claude Kaplan, CEO of KAS. "With our ability to generate greater astaxanthin output volumes, quicker and at a reduced cost compared to light-dependent methods, this funding strongly positions KAS to respond to the rapidly expanding needs of the market."

KAS will initially launch with its European-based production partner with the capacity to distribute globally. This new funding will enable KAS to exploit its ability to use standard fermentation equipment, to swiftly expand production through leveraging contract manufacturers, with the option to bring production in-house in the future.  





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