The Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit spotlights breakthrough start-ups revolutionising Asia’s agri-food ecosystem.

From Seed-Stage through to Series-C, the event connects innovators with brands, investors and producers looking to drive food security and provide affordable, nutritious food for future generations.

SEADLING were the winners of the Blue Food Start-Up Pitch Hour 2023. We caught up with them, to see what they’ve got up to since the summit last year.

SEADLING winning the Blue Food Start-Up Pitch Hour at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023
SEADLING winning the Blue Food Start-Up Pitch Hour at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

Outline the start-up in 1-2 sentences:

I’m the founder of SEADLING, a seaweed biotech start-up developing unique functional ingredients for animal feed, human nutraceuticals and plant biostimulants.

Tell us about your key milestones since the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

We’ve closed our seed investment round, filed a patent, launched our pet food ingredients in USA and are now in product development partnerships with two of the world’s largest manufacturers. It’s been a busy year but very satisfying.

Looking back at the activity the past few years, both regarding market dynamics and your company’s internal development, what is driving your strategy?

Rather than selling simple raw seaweed, we see the opportunity in offering value-added ingredients with science-backed functional benefits and to do this we’ve developed fermentation technology that enhances this incredible superfood. We’re the first in the world to ferment seaweed on a commercial scale and we’re really excited by this whitespace.

We’ve initially focussed on ingredients for pet food as its very profitable. Companion animals is a great market to be active in and we have quickly developed the reputation of being the “go-to company for seaweed ingredients for pet food”. Nutraceuticals for humans will be next, then feed ingredients for other animal groups will come further down the line.

What are the main obstacles and challenges you anticipate as you move forward with your start-up? How do you plan to address and overcome them?

Dependable supply chains of raw seaweed will be crucial in the coming years as we ramp up our production. To address this, we’re developing technology to produce high-growth seedlings and a contract farming platform that we can implement with any existing farming community around the world to confidently scale supply in line with demand.

Climate change and rising ocean temperatures will undoubtedly threaten the seaweed industry in coming decades and we’re making plans for this also.

What advice would you offer start-ups who are fundraising in today’s challenging economic and regulatory landscape?

Focus on business fundamentals. Investors want to see great products, attractive unit economics, proven traction and teams that can execute. A shiny idea on a deck doesn’t cut it anymore.

How do you view the current fundraising landscape?

Investors are moving slower than previous years however there is still capital being deployed in the themes where we are active – agtech, impact, ocean – and I don’t see this changing for the next 12 months.

Could you feature at the summit? Join us in Singapore on November 19-21, to meet over 1000 agri-food leaders for thought-leadership sessions, start-up discovery, investor insights, and targeted networking. Get in touch.