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Caixa Capital Risc and the State of Spain become shareholders of AlgaEnergy to accelerate the growth of the microalgae biotech sector

12 July, 2021

This represents a significant capital increase that AlgaEnergy and its management team will leverage to strengthen its international footprint.

AlgaEnergy, a leading international company in the microalgae biotechnology sector, has signed an investment agreement with two new partners: Caixa Capital Risc and CDTI. Caixa Capital Risc is CriteriaCaixa's venture capital management company (CaixaBank), and the CDTI, is a public entity promoting innovation and technological development among Spanish companies. The agreement signals the entry of both companies into the shareholding structure of AlgaEnergy, as minor shareholders. This represents a significant capital increase that AlgaEnergy and its management team will leverage to strengthen its international footprint, expand its production facilities in Spain, launch new business units such as food and cosmetics, and accelerate its promising product development pipeline of microalgae-based solutions.

Boosting the microalgae biotechnology sector

Microalgae are a diverse group of unicellular photosynthetic microorganisms that can thrive in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. Their biodiversity and numerous applications across various sectors grant them a unique potential to contribute to a more sustainable society. Due to their rapid reproduction rate and the non-competition with other raw materials for fertile lands, they represent an important biological resource.

They are currently being used as raw material to develop biological inputs for agriculture, human and animal nutrition supplements, functional ingredients for cosmetic formulas, or natural colorants, amongst others. Its application in the pharmaceutical, bioremediation or energetic sectors, is also being researched.

AlgaEnergy, which was established in 2007, has been a pioneer in the field of microalgae biotechnology research, production and commercialization, being the first company to use industrial CO2 from other sources to grow microalgae, or the first to focus on agriculture as a target sector. The company accumulates over five decades of microalgae-specific knowledge generated by its team led by Professor Miguel García Guerrero, one of the few researchers internationally recognized as authorities in the field of microalgae, and Chief Scientific Officer of AlgaEnergy .

The biotech company operates probably the most advanced industrial production plant for microalgae in the world, which includes technology that has been developed together with the Japanese tech-multinational Yokogawa, specialized in industrial automation and shareholder of AlgaEnergy since 2018. Its main production facility is located annexed to Spain's largest combined cycle power plant, owned by Iberdrola, a world leader in renewable energy and a technological partner of AlgaEnergy since 2009. AlgaEnergy’s microalgae-based products are already used by over 2 million satisfied farmers worldwide, who are implementing more sustainable farming practices without compromising their competitiveness. On the contrary, their profitability is improved as they increase their yields and optimize the qualitative traits of their outputs, while making their crops more resilient to stresses.

United by a common commitment: generate positive impact on society

The agreement represents an important boost for the Spanish biotechnology sector, which enjoys a privileged position in terms of global competitiveness. The union of AlgaEnergy, Caixa Capital Risc and INNVIERTE signifies a shared objective to make a positive impact on the society through business practices that are sustainable, innovative and generate added value.

Augusto Rodríguez-Villa, President of AlgaEnergy, highlighted that “this agreement is the best possible partnership in the journey to achieve our mission to leverage the potential of microalgae worldwide. We share with our new shareholders the same vision for the future, the belief that a more sustainable development is possible and that microalgae can be a key contributor towards that objective.

On the other hand, Felipe Matías, Director of Industrial Investments at CriteriaCaixa, pointed out that “we are very proud to enter into the share capital of AlgaEnergy, a company with a firm commitment to innovation and sustainability, and whose business model fits perfectly in the investment portfolio of Caixa Capital Risc."

Susana Rodríguez, Manager of the program INNVIERTE, has pointed out that "from INNVIERTE we are very satisfied to be able to support a company like AlgaEnergy, which is clearly committed to sustainability and contributes to the development of a highly innovative productive fabric."

About AlgaEnergy

AlgaEnergy is a biotechnology-based company specialized exclusively in the microalgae sector. The company consolidates the deep knowledge that exists in Spain in the science of microalgae, generated by universities and other research centers over the last 5 decades. With a strong investment in R&I, it has positioned itself as the international reference in this field. AlgaEnergy's mission is to develop and commercialize innovative and high-quality solutions, based on microalgae, which are aimed at responding to the specific needs in different industries. For more information about AlgaEnergy, visit www.algaenergy.com

About Caixa Capital Risc

Caixa Capital Risc, CriteriaCaixa's venture capital manager, is a leading investor in innovative companies with high growth potential. It currently manages funds and companies that add up to almost 200 million euros of committed investment, mainly in Spanish companies that operate in the digital technology, life sciences and industrial technology sectors.

Caixa Capital Risc uses nine investment vehicles to invest in early financing rounds and help companies to grow. The management company's team of professionals focuses on identifying, analyzing, investing and supporting innovative companies in Spain.

Caixa Capital Risc is part of CriteriaCaixa, the holding company that works to preserve and grow the assets generated by the Fundación “la Caixa” over more than a century, with the priority of providing the financial resources that allow its action continue to contribute to the development of society.

About CDTI

CDTI is the body of the General State Administration that supports innovation based on knowledge, advising and offering public aid for innovation through subsidies or partially reimbursable financing. CDTI also internationalizes the R&D and innovation business projects of Spanish companies and entities and manages Spanish participation in international R&D organizations, such as Horizonte2020 and Eureka, and in the Science and Space industries. Additionally, through INNVIERTE’s sustainable economy initiative, it supports and facilitates the capitalization of technology companies. For more information, visit: www.cdti.es

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