Kaldbak, Faroe Islands-based Ocean Rainforest, a seaweed cultivation and processing company, announced on Wednesday, February 15, that it has raised $6.2M (approximately €5.8M) funding in a Series A round of funding, led by The Grantham Foundation.
Katapult Ocean’s Deep Blue fund, Builders Vision, and the Ocean Born Foundation invested along with the participation from existing shareholders World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US), Norðoya Íløgufelag, and Twynam Invest.
The funding will enable Ocean Rainforest to scale up seaweed production in its facilities in the Faroe Islands as well as accelerate product and market development.
The company will also use the capital to accelerate its operation in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Eastern Pacific Rim.
Olavur Gregersen, Co-founder and CEO of Ocean Rainforest, says, “The investment enables us to scale up operations in the Faroe Islands and continue to commercialise our cultivation and processing activities of Giant Kelp in California.”
He adds, “Furthermore, we will investigate possibilities for replication of our business model in collaboration with local partners in specific locations in Europe and North America.”
Ocean Rainforest: Seaweed cultivation company
Led by Olavur Gregersen (co-founder and CEO), Ocean Rainforest is a seaweed cultivation company with fully integrated production from seed to shelf-stable products.
The company has developed a “first of its kind” open ocean cultivation system suitable for real offshore conditions in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The company is working on multiple international R&D efforts in Europe and the United States to develop and optimise cultivation and processing strategies that will allow the competitive supply of this sustainable biomass into various products.
The company has established a US subsidiary in Southern California, where it recently obtained an R&D permit for seaweed cultivation in federal waters.
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment is a private charitable foundation based in Boston. The Foundation aims to protect and conserve the natural world via a broad range of scalable but often neglected, climate solutions.
Marc von Keitz, director at the Grantham Foundation, says, “We are excited about Ocean Rainforest’s capabilities to successfully grow seaweed in open ocean environments. This funding will significantly expand their production into off-shore waters and will be critical to meet growing market demand and to reach climate-relevant scale.”
“With limited environmental impacts and a low carbon footprint, seaweed absorbs CO2 and other excess nutrients from the ocean, making this fast-growing crop a climate-smart and nutritious food source,” said Paul Dobbins, Senior Director of Impact Investing at World Wildlife Fund-US.
He adds, “But seaweed can only thrive as a climate change solution if we create a market for the many food, feed, and fossil-based replacement products seaweed can provide. Ocean Rainforest is addressing the feed market and their successful capital raise shines a spotlight on this growing opportunity.”