The news follows the New Zealand startup’s announcement of “a world-first marine whey protein 80 percent concentrate prototype suitable for sports and active nutrition”.
Katapult’s investment puts NewFish in the top 1 percent of all 2,500 candidates who were assessed for the accelerator program, valuing the microalgae nutrition venture at 10 million NZD and readying for growth into the USA active and sports nutrition industry.
In total, the recruitment round screened startups from six continents and around 62 countries, and the selected 23 companies represent 13 different countries and span five continents.
Ross Brooks, general partner at Katapult Ocean said in a press release: “The NewFish team are combining decades of experience in food, nutrition and algal science to bring a next generation of marine-based protein to the market. Algal proteins have the potential to play a key role in relieving pressure and increasing redundancy in our increasingly strained global food system- we are very excited to be part of their journey.”
As part of the investment, NewFish will join 22 startups from around the world in the Katapult 2023 accelerator programme – which is specifically designed for high impact Ocean- and Climate-tech companies.
As Brooks explains: “The ocean is the most underinvested natural capital system on our planet and the most promising and productive solution to our climate and resources challenges, hence a great investment opportunity. We are delighted to have NewFish on board and we look forward to the journey ahead through the accelerator program and beyond.”
“NewFish is proud to join forces with Katapult Ocean Fund and accelerator,” said Toby Lane, CEO at NewFish. “Their commitment to fostering businesses that are both profitable and environmentally responsible perfectly aligns with our mission. We look forward to collaborating with Katapult Ocean and leveraging their expertise to accelerate our efforts in creating nutrition solutions without environmental or ethical compromise.”
Product development breakthrough
NewFish’s first marine whey prototype utilises proprietary technology from its microalgae collection and scientific laboratories in New Zealand. Their prototype has a protein level of over 80 percent and nutrition performance similar to whey protein concentrate from dairy. NewFish also claims that its prototype has “a complete protein and amino acid profile”.
The funding secured through Katapult will be used for the phase two development of NewFish’s microalgae nutrition ingredients, to bolster the NewFish team, and to support the extensive research and development required to successfully commercialise these ingredients in the highly competitive US market.
“Our ambition to enter the United States active and sports nutrition and functional ingredients markets aligns with our vision to make a positive impact on a global scale,” Lane explained.