Mara Renewables Corp., which makes nutritional products from algae, raised the largest funding round in Atlantic Canada so far this year on the back of standout revenue growth, with plans to expand its suite of intellectual property, according to CEO Arturo Ania.

He said in an interview that the raise has three purposes: to continue improving Mara’s production processes, sometimes through the purchase of equipment; to expand its research and development pipelines, both in terms of intellectual property and human capital; and to accelerate the progress of a handful of joint ventures in which the company is involved.

Earlier this month, Dartmouth-based Mara announced it had raised $39.5 million in one of the largest funding rounds in Atlantic Canadian history, beat out only by a handful of companies, such as Fredericton- and Miami-based Introhive with a $126.6 million Series C round last year.

“Mara had a very strong technology base and IP base,” sand Ania. “But ultimately, what really drove a lot of traction was the fact that we have an exceptionally high quality of product.”

He said a strong financial performance from Mara was a key driver of its ability to raise such a large funding round and described the company as boasting an “industry-leading” growth rate.

Founded in 2012 as the brainchild of Clearwater Seafoods billionaire John Risley, Mara makes algae-based Omega-3 oil that can be used as an ingredient for nutritional supplements, baby formula and food. The company is also part of a $65 million Ocean Supercluster consortium that aims to produce marine fuel from forestry and agriculture waste.

The business’s largest markets are in Europe and Asia.

“While we would love to have more presence in the Canadian market, obviously, in terms of just the size of the consumer pool … you really find the leading geographies in the world being in Asia,” said Ania.

But while Mara’s manufacturing facility has been located in Liverpool, England for about five years, Ania said the choice was not made on the basis of logistics, but rather because the right partners and opportunity emerged at the right time.

He added that Mara expects to add plants in other parts of the world as it expands.

So far, the company has over 100 employees, counting Saskatchewan-based subsidiary Algarithm Ingredients, which sells Omega-3 oil concentrates and powders, as well as white label emulsions and gel capsules.

Ania, who became Mara’s CEO a year ago, holds degrees in engineering and business and is the former Global Head of Agriculture, Food and Beverage at DuPont Sustainable Solutions, which was previously a subsidiary of chemicals giant DuPont before being spun off in 2019.