A student biotech startup has bagged an investment of $10 million from UAE-based TCN International Commerce L.L.C for its project ‘AlgaeSeaweed Technology’ under the brand B-lite Cookies.
Fostered under the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (IEDC) scheme of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the startup’s product was showcased at the GITEX 2020 international conference held in Dubai, a KSUM press release said.
The student startup was part of the international startup delegation led by KSUM.
Zaara Biotech, which focuses on research in energy and food crisis using micro-algae, got funding for its research and development, production, distribution, and marketing under TCN International Commerce to reach the global arena.
Najeeb Bin Haneef, Founder-CEO of Zaara Biotech, and Dr Mohamed Shafi Abdulla, Chairman and Managing Director, TCN International Commerce L.L.C, signed a memorandum of understanding in Sharjah on Saturday.
Dr George Ninan, Principal Scientist, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR)-CIFT (Central Institute of Fisheries Technology), Kochi; Tapan Rayaguru, CEO, KSUM; and Dr Nixon Kuruvila, Principal, Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology, Thrissur; among others, were present on the occasion.
Zaara Biotech was founded by Haneef when he was a biotechnology engineering student of Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology in 2016.
The biotech startup, incubated at Sahrdaya Technology Business Incubator (Sahrdaya TBI), has collaborated with ICAR-CIFT and helped the company to become India’s first algal-seaweed food product designer.
The team of Zaara had set up a ‘Mushroom Hub’ during its first year on the campus before foraying into the entrepreneurial venture. By designing photobioreactors using micro-algae, the biotech startup has taken great leaps in bringing India to the forefront of bioengineering.
TCN International Commerce has its presence across multiple sectors such as IT, business process management, trading, healthcare, education, FMCG, construction and engineering, defence, critical service providers, aviation, and oil and gas.
KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.