January 30, 2012

Aurora Algae set to raise $100M

Aurora Algae began operations in Karratha mid last year and now has its sights on raising $100 million after hitting the $22 million mark a few months ago.

The $22 million has left the company fully funded until its next expansion phase of harvesting algae-based biomass for products in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture and renewable energy markets.

Daniel Sanudo checks the water quality in the 50sqm pond

Daniel Sanudo checks the water quality in the 50sqm pond

The company’s Karratha operation is planned to be increased from the initial 100 hectares of commercial operation to 400 hectares in the next stage, and then 1000 hectares.

The company is looking to raise $100 million from existing and new private investors by mid-year, and is aligning at an IPO later in the year.

Founder and managing director, Matthew Caspari said the next phase will get Aurora Algae into profits.

“It’s highly scalable,” he said.

Mr Caspari said that existing investors such as Gabriel Venture Partners are expected to return in this round, plus an un-named strategic investor.

The venture uses a large amount of marginal land, but being in Karratha enables it to take advantage of the improving infrastructure, thanks to the resources boom.

‘’It is easy to get things in and out, thanks to the resources industry,’’ Mr Caspari said.

‘’The downside is labour is amazingly expensive and housing is amazingly expensive.”

The company has not provided any indication of likely production volumes as it scales up, but it will produce ‘’hundreds of tonnes of material a month; thousands of tonnes a year’’.

Karratha has been the perfect place for Aurora Algae to make profit within a few months.

The abundant sunlight means the algae grow quickly – doubling in volume in a day – ensuring plentiful product for processing.

Original post available here.

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