Solazyme becomes TerraVia

15 Mar 2016

Solazyme is to focus exclusively on algae-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, and is renaming itself TerraVia. The company has also acquired $28m of strategic financing.

Solazyme becomes TerraVia

Solazyme is to focus exclusively on algae-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, and is renaming itself TerraVia. According to the company, the evolution leverages over a decade of R&D and product development on an innovative suite of algae-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, as well as extensive investment in building manufacturing facilities, obtaining regulatory approvals, and commercializing initial products. With these foundational elements in place, the company believes it is positioned to create value and impact in the rapidly growing plant-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients sectors.

“By unlocking the power of algae, the mother of all plants and earth’s original superfood, we are bringing much needed innovation in food and nutrition,” said Jonathan Wolfson, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “Our new generation of breakthrough ingredients and foods delivers on nutrition, flavor and texture all with an unparalleled sustainability profile, and these products are already beginning to penetrate a market that is demanding healthier alternatives. Over more than 13 years we have invested in developing a unique understanding and expertise around algae. Today the pieces are in place for the company to fulfill its mission and create substantial value for customers and shareholders.”

TerraVia’s portfolio of ingredients and products include:

+ Specialty Food Ingredients, including the AlgaVia Whole Algae ingredients (lipid rich powder and protein) and AlgaWise Algae Oils (cooking and high stability oils). Each of these products has obtained key regulatory clearances and have been incorporated into products by established food companies such as Hormel and Utz, as well as by leading edge, plant-based food companies such as Enjoy Life, So Delicious, Soylent and Follow Your Heart during the past six to nine months.

+ Consumer Food Products, where the company will leverage its ingredients to incubate select consumer brands, including Thrive Culinary Algae Oil.

+ Animal Nutrition Ingredients, a new area for the company, where initial products and partnerships will be announced soon.

+ Specialty Personal Care Ingredients, including AlgaPur Oils, which are marketed and sold alongside food ingredients and where the Company has major customers including Unilever.

“There are opportunities for our algae-based ingredients across every aisle of the grocery store, driven by consumer demand for clean labels and an increasing focus on plant-based foods with great taste,” said Mark Brooks, SVP and General Manager of Food Ingredients at Solazyme. “We are enhancing a new generation of foods that deliver better flavour and nutrition, including healthier fats and enhanced protein, fibre and micronutrients. In addition to products incorporating our ingredients on store shelves today, we are currently in active development projects with major CPG companies for new products such as salad dressings and gluten-free bakery products that are healthier and offer the taste and texture that consumers demand.”

Prior to joining Solazyme, Brooks was the Global Business Director of Truvia, where he led the business to over $100 million in global retail sales.

The company has entered into a definitive purchase agreement for a strategic financing round of approximately $28 million in newly issued, no-coupon convertible preferred shares with a conversion price of $2.00 per common share.

Over its history Solazyme has invested in, and developed products, technology and market opportunities in industrial markets including fuels, industrial oils, and the oilfield/Encapso business. Moving forward, these initiatives will be grouped together as “Solazyme Industrials” and will not be part of TerraVia’s refined focus. Solazyme believes these businesses have tremendous opportunity to develop into large and profitable entities, while improving the lives of people and the planet. The company will be pursuing strategic alternatives over the next 12-18 months to unlock the value created. Solazyme’s objective is to identify partners who have the operational capabilities needed to realize the potential of those businesses.

“We are moving forward with a strong business foundation and clear vision,” said Tyler Painter, Chief Financial and Operating Officer. “We have invested significant time and capital in the development of our innovation platform and large-scale manufacturing capability. We enjoy long-standing commitments from partners, led by Bunge and Unilever, who have helped bring our vision to life. Importantly, we have also learned significant lessons in scale-up and commercialization, helping to de-risk the inherent challenges in bringing disruptive products to market. These strengths combined with our refined focus, a proven suite of products and the expanded market knowledge we gain with our new investors and board member, position us well to execute on our opportunities in food, nutrition and specialty ingredients.”