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Brilliant Planet Limited closes $12 million funding to grow algae in the desert

The company's innovative processes enable vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert land.

Brilliant Planet Limited closes $12 million funding to grow algae in the desert
Brilliant Planet Limited

April 7, 2022

Brilliant Planet Limited (formerly Susewi Ltd), the nature-based carbon capture and storage company, closed oversubscribed $12 million Series A funding co-led by Union Square Ventures and Toyota Ventures. Additional and follow-on investors include Future Positive Capital, AiiM Partners, S2G Ventures, Hatch and Pegasus Tech Ventures.

Brilliant Planet is unlocking the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale. The company's innovative processes enable vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert land. This is achieved without using freshwater, by harnessing a natural process that contributes to the health of oceans and air.

Following four years of trials at its three-hectare research facility in Morocco, Brilliant Planet will use the proceeds of the Series A round to prepare for the construction of a 30-hectare commercial demonstration facility while continuing its fundamental R&D program based in London. Brilliant Planet is supported by partners including UK Research & Innovation, Scottish Association of Marine Science and Southampton University across a range of research initiatives, such as remote sensing, oceanography, sensor development and fluid dynamics.  

“Nature-based solutions to climate change are normally the most scalable and cost-effective but it is often difficult to verify the amount of carbon removed by these methods and the permeance of the storage. On the other hand, man-made solutions such as direct air capture can be easily verified but are prohibitively expensive due to the significant inputs of energy, chemicals and freshwater required. Brilliant Planet has now developed a uniquely cost-effective, scalable and verifiable nature-based system that delivers on all requirements,” stated Adam Taylor, CEO of Brilliant Planet. “With the IPCC confirming that tremendous amounts of carbon will need to be removed from the atmosphere to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we feel that this is the right solution at the right time.”

Raffael Jovine, chief scientist and co-founder added that “by using empty desert and seawater that would not have otherwise come to the surface, our solution creates 'new' Net Primary Productivity. In other words, we employ underutilized natural resources to grow new biomass and draw down excess carbon dioxide. Per unit area, this approach sequesters up to 30 times more carbon per year than rainforests, while it also de-acidifies the local coastal seawater back to pre-industrial levels.”

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