The Netherlands-based Lgem, a biotech scale-up, announced on Tuesday, March 14th, that it has secured an undisclosed investment from Navus Ventures.
Lgem plans to use the funds to speed up the growth of its two-phase algae technology and AlgaeHUB de-risking facility. Additionally, the Dutch company intends to utilise the funds to increase global sales of its production systems and continue its research and development efforts.
Bas Swildens, CEO at Lgem, says, “We are thrilled to partner with Navus Ventures as a shareholder, which will not only allow us to learn from Lely’s past experiences but also enhance our industry and supply chain capabilities. This collaboration will ultimately lead to better strategic and R&D decisions and better products and services for our clients.”
Lgem: Driving algae innovation
Led by Bas Swildens, Lgem focuses on the development and production of photobioreactors (PBRs) for the cultivation of microalgae.
The Dutch company’s two-phase PBR solutions offer increased productivity (up to 70 per cent) and deliver stable algae production at lower operational costs (up to 80 per cent).
According to the Dutch scale-up, their patented systems are equipped to operate within Industry 4.0 standards and can be incorporated into a fully automated production facility, including both upstream and downstream unit operations.
The systems range from 20 to over 1,000,000 litres and can produce any type of microalgae species, even the most fragile ones, says the Dutch biotech company.
The Dutch firm has also established the AlgaeHUB to minimise investment risk for its clients.
AlgaeHUB, which spans over 7,000 square metres and has more than 20 full-time employees, comprises 18 production units.
It allows customers to assess and enhance their business plan on an industrial scale before committing substantial financial resources, thereby mitigating investment risk.
Sander Hazewinkel, CCO at Lgem, says, “We strongly believe that we are on the brink of a blue-green breakthrough that will transform our plates with an abundance of sustainable and high-quality food options while reducing environmental impact. We are unlocking the full potential of algae for sustainable food”.
Navus Ventures is a venture capital firm, a part of a family office linked to Lely (Farming Innovators). The VC focuses on high-tech startups and scale-ups driving the ongoing sustainable transitions in food and energy.
Eduard Meijer, Managing Director at Navus Ventures, says, “We see great potential in microalgae as a driver of more sustainable food and feed ingredient production and Lgem is providing a key enabling technology that allows others in the industry to move from research to business.”