Agrifood Tech | March 14, 2024

KAS snags $3 million for low-cost production of aquaculture ingredient

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Astaxanthin is used in aquaculture feed to enhance the health and pigmentation of farmed fish and shrimp. Synthetic astaxanthin is cheaper than natural astaxanthin, but natural is higher quality and more sustainable.

“Strong consumer preferences for natural inputs is expected to accelerate the transition to natural astaxanthin,” said Claude Kaplan of Kuehnle AgroSystems, or KAS.

The Honolulu-based company’s fermentation process extracts astaxanthin from microalgae in closed tanks. Kaplan touted the company’s “ability to generate greater astaxanthin output volumes, quicker and at a reduced cost” compared to other methods.

S2G Ventures led KAS’s $3 million Series A round. Other backers include sustainable aquaculture investor Aqua-Spark and Cavallo Ventures.

The global market for astaxanthin is valued at $2.3 billion and is projected to grow 17% annually.

“We need more companies like KAS that are solving core challenges in the value chain to ensure our food system is healthier and more sustainable for consumers and the planet,” said Aqua-Spark’s Lissy Smit.