Belgium

[Funding alert] Ghent-based AmphiStar Raises €6 Million in Funding

Apr 18, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

AmphiStar, a biotech startup based in Ghent that provides locally manufactured microbial biosurfactants to businesses looking to build sustainable, effective, and reasonably priced products that use surfactants as key performance elements raises €6 million in funding.

AmphiStar, a biotech startup based in Ghent that provides locally manufactured microbial biosurfactants to businesses looking to build sustainable, effective, and reasonably priced products that use surfactants as key performance elements raises €6 million in funding.

The Flanders Future Tech Fund (FFTF) and Qbic III participated in this round, which was headed by the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF).

In their daily lives, surfactants are essential functional ingredients in a wide range of products, including toothpaste, shampoos, cosmetics, inks, paints, agrochemicals, food and feed, and even building materials.

Every year, more than 20 million tonnes of surfactants are manufactured, the great majority of which are made using harsh, conventional chemical manufacturing processes and heavily dependent on unsustainable fossil fuel and/or palm oil feedstocks.

By introducing microbial biosurfactants made from locally obtained waste and side streams from the agri-food industry, like supermarket food waste, AmphiStar is transforming the surfactant business.

Read also - Barcelona-based Factorial Secures $80Million in Funding

These novel, circular biosurfactants have no direct effect on land use or competition with food production. Furthermore, its manufacture involves the use of safe and gentle biological processes akin to those used in beer brewing.

AmphiStar provides a wide range of biologically generated, biobased, and biocompatible glycolipids, like sophorolipids, to manufacturers of cleaning and cosmetic products that are looking for genuinely sustainable, effective, and reasonably priced substitutes.

With the help of outside partners, AmphiStar hopes to use the fresh money injection to launch commercial biosurfactant production.

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The investment will also support research and development activities aimed at optimising and refining the company's biosurfactant platform, finishing up regulatory and certification dossiers, and designing and building a cutting-edge production facility

Sophie Roelants, Co-founder and COO stated: “AmphiStar will revolutionize the surfactant market. We have developed a unique platform technology and are the only company in the (bio)surfactant space successfully combining a set of different key technologies: waste- and side-stream technologies, synthetic biology, bioprocessing, purification and scaling expertise. With this capital injection and extended support from these prominent investors, we will bring our unique waste-based biosurfactant products to market and aim to make biosurfactants mainstream. We had a first market introduction of one of our waste-based biosurfactants with Ecover last year, showcasing the performance, safety and sustainability of our waste-based sophorolipids. We are looking for more sustainable partnerships and are open to collaborating. We are also looking for enthusiastic new talent to strengthen our team.”

Jowita Sewerska, Investment Director European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) said: “There is a clear market need for a better biosurfactants’ offer from the producers – in terms of performance, sustainability and price points. AmphiStar has great cards to play here and is now at an exciting point of accelerating the commercialization of its products.”

Sofie Baeten, Managing Partner Qbic III mentioned: ” As an early supporter of AmphiStar, we are thrilled to continue our shared mission of driving sustainable innovation. Leveraging over 15 years of cutting-edge research at Ghent University, AmphiStar’s technology enables the cost-efficient and ecological production of biosurfactants from renewable feedstocks, advancing the transition to a circular economy. We proudly support their efforts to drive a greener, bio-based industry, and look forward to the impactful outcomes of our collaboration in shaping a sustainable future.”

About Amphistar

AmphiStar is the first business to design, develop, produce, and market 100% biobased waste and side streams-sourced sophorolipid biosurfactants. These amphiphilic biosurfactants can be used in a wide range of applications, including agrochemicals, textiles, industrial cleansers, cosmetics, personal care, and home and personal care. The latter is made possible, for example, by their superior foaming, degreasing, and wetting properties, as well as their mildness and lack of irritation.

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