An Edinburgh-based BioTech start-up which claims it can turn whisky production by-products into pet and fish food has raised an investment of £1m.

Founded by University of Edinburgh student Douglas Martin in 2016, the firm produces microalgae, a by-product of whisky distillation, which can be used to feed animals including fish.

The investment comes from previous investors Equity Gap, Scottish Investment Bank and Old College Capital and new investor Hillhouse Group.

The start-up will use the cash to double the size of its headquarters, make five new hires to its eight-strong team, and commission a plant to demonstrate its technology.

Martin said: “I am really pleased that with this investment we can turn our attention to growing the business. We plan to target the pet food and aquaculture industries with our sustainable, ocean-friendly, algae-derived omega 3.

“I am proud that we operate as part of the circular economy where, by using a low value co-product from the whisky industry, we are creating a valuable supply of nutrients for the animal and fish food industries, thereby using the planet’s resources more efficiently. There is no doubt we will see a rapidly growing market for our product.”

Kerry Sharp, Scottish Investment Bank director added: “MiAlgae perfectly epitomises Scotland’s willingness to take the lead on climate-related issues.

“By turning the by-products of manufacturing and industrial processes into a valuable resource, they and other pioneering companies like them are completely redefining the concept of waste.

“We’re delighted to continue supporting MiAlgae and look forward to helping them realise their commercial and environmental ambitions.”