Harpenden-based biotech FA Bio poised with a vision to protect natural ecosystems by identifying superior microbial bio-products that will improve soil health and boost crop production has reportedly raised €6.1 million from tri-European venture capital investment funds and new private investors as well as existing shareholders.
The latest investment was co-led by Clean Growth Fund, known to be one of the UK’s leading clean-tech venture capital (VC) funds, and Pymwymic, a Dutch-based impact VC fund focused on investing in food and agriculture technologies. In the same vein, a Spanish impact VC fund investing in early-stage companies addressing key environmental and social issues also invested in the round. The move in this trajectory of investment underlines the growing financial commitment to the biotech sector by VC funds across global markets.
Situated at the Rothamsted Research Centre in Harpenden, a world-leading research facility that focuses on agricultural science, FA Bio (formally known as FungiAlert) is leading the discovery and development of superior microbial bioproducts, including biocontrols, biostimulants and biofertilizers that can replace chemical inputs in agriculture. The subject company is currently led by ‘Dr. Angela de Manzanos Guinot’ and ‘Dr. Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver’.
Founded in 2015, the subject startup (FA Bio) utilizes its innovative SporSenZ technology, a unique targeted microbial sampling strategy to collect data and microbial isolates from agricultural cultivated farms. With a team of expert scientists, the subject startup is poised to develop the most promising microbes into agricultural bioproducts for the most important crops across the globe.
“Intensive agriculture and overuse of agrochemicals have contributed to a 70% biodiversity loss in the past 50 years, which has been made worse by the damaging effects of climate change – drought, soil warming, and higher levels of CO2. Our innovative technology and game-changing bioproducts have the potential to boost crop productivity and provide a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers, protecting the world’s natural ecosystems. With this latest round of investment, we can accelerate our R&D work and development of bioproducts for the agriculture sector and achieve our vision of revolutionizing sustainable agriculture”, the CEO ‘Dr. Angela de Manzanos Guinot said.
Going forward, the fresh investment made by Pymwymic, Clean Growth Fund, and Ship2B Ventures will be deployed for the commercialization of biotech FA Bio’s technology, ongoing research work, and the funding of the company’s team.
Given this development, ‘Sophie Pickering’, Investment Manager at Pymwymic said: “We truly believe FA Bio’s innovative discovery method promises game-changing products for sustainable agriculture. We’re thrilled to welcome the team to our portfolio to support them in their journey of creating greater impact”.
Meanwhile, ‘Dr. Jonathan Tudor’, Investment Partner at Clean Growth Fund commented: “We are excited to be supporting FA Bio’s next phase of growth. Angela and Kerry, and all of the FA Bio team, have achieved so much, and given the challenges – natural and man-made – that agriculture is facing across the world, FA Bio has significant growth potential. We are delighted to be investing in the UK biotech sector and excited by the carbon emissions reduction that FA Bio’s technology can achieve in the agriculture sector”.
In like manner, ‘Jaime de Antonio’, Investment Manager at Ship2B Ventures, added: “Our mission at Ship2B Ventures is to back bold entrepreneurs that are solving the most pressing problems faced by humankind. Thus, we are thrilled to support Angela and Kerry’s purpose to disrupt the Agrifood industry for the better. We truly believe FA Bio’s developments will protect a damaged natural GHG sink, the land”.
Also fair to note that the latest investment is undoubtedly Clean Growth Fund’s third investment in the U.K. biotech sector and Ship2B Ventures’ third funding in the Agrifood space, while this investment brings Pymwymic to its fifth investment of its Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II.