Pond Technologies Takes Commercial Algae Public with $47 Million Valuation

Pond Technologies has announced that they have successfully gone public on the TSX Venture Exchange to the tune of a $47 million valuation.

The IPO saw the Markham-based Pond Technologies complete a “three-cornered amalgamation” and RTO where they took control of the previously listed Ironhorse Oil & Gas Inc. They then completed $8.7 million in equity funding led by Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. and Hampton Securities Limited.

Pond Technologies offers a proprietary growth platform to help transport carbon dioxide into bioproducts. The company focuses on nutraceuticals as well as greenhouse gas abatement.

“We are a triple threat in terms of the positive impact we have,” Pond Technologies CEO Steve Martin told Techvibes. “We have the economics, the market need, and we are doing something incredibly environmental not just for us, but also the host plants we associate with.”

The company’s technology can be utilized by any plant or business that emits huge amounts of carbon dioxide from central locations such as a smokestack. It takes two tonnes of carbon dioxide to produce one tonne of algae, and that algae can be used in a wealth of unique ways. It can be agriculture feed or it can be mixed with the sands left after oil extraction processes to remediate the environment.

“All of humanity’s endeavours are really just a conversion of carbon into carbon dioxide,” says Martin. “If you make a tonne of steel, you make three tonnes of carbon dioxide. We make more carbon dioxide than anything, and what we have done is find a use for that.”

Pond technologies algae tanks.

What Pond Technologies is focusing in on is the nutraceutical market: algae can be used to create consumables like spirulina and chlorella, both of which retail for around $20,000 USD per tonne. The Markham company is taking a waste product and turning it into something valuable through their growth platform. But to do that effectively, and find better partners, they needed capital.

“Our decision to go public is driven by the cost of capital,” says Martin. “Our tech is ready for prime time and the big things we’re doing require capital, and the cost of capital through the public market is less expensive than any other means.“

With that capital, Pond Technologies will look to grow nutraceutical algae right at home in Markham. They have been working with Markham District Energy and their source of carbon dioxide that comes from their natural gas-fired generators.

“We use gas from a local emitter, reduce their carbon footprint, and at the same time they grow a high-value algae product,” explains Martin.

In fact, Martin estimates that there could be several thousand large plants built around North America that use this kind of technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions and turn them into something more valuable. But there’s one major thing in the way.

“It’s hard for these guys to truly embrace this new technology,” says Martin, referring to larger plants and energy distributors. “Scaling our tech is not difficult, but what was missing is the truly commercial look into how to implement this tech. Until now, it was driven by biologists who were more interested in genetic engineering.”

“We took the body of work that had been done over a long period of time and we were able to industrialize it where we could produce commercial quantities of algae, and we would do it in a modular way,” adds Martin. “We do it on a scale where, if you want a bigger plant, we would simply build more of the same.”

Pond technologies are currently in the midst of building the first ever commercial algae plant that utilizes industrial greenhouse gas emissions. It will be located at Stelco’s Lake Erie Works steel mill in Nanticoke, Ontario and receive $5 million from the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Target GHG Program. Overall the facility will cost $13.9 million and decrease Stelco’s carbon footprint while generating revenues from the sale of algae grown using GHGs.