British biotech FA Bio secures €6.1 million in funding from new and existing private investors, as well as three European venture capital investment institutions.
One of the top clean-tech venture capital (VC) funds in the UK, Clean Growth firm, and an impact VC firm based in the Netherlands called Pymwymic, which specialises in funding food and agriculture technology, co-led the investment.
A Spanish impact venture capital fund called Ship2B Ventures, which funds early-stage businesses that tackle important social and environmental concerns, has also contributed to the funding round. The investment highlights the increasing amount of money that venture capital funds from around the world are investing in the biotech industry.
Located at the world-class agricultural science research centre, Rothamsted Research Centre in Harpenden, FA Bio (formerly known as FungiAlert) is spearheading the discovery and development of better microbial bioproducts.
Biocontrols, biostimulants, and biofertilizers are among the agricultural inputs that can be substituted for chemicals. Drs. Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver and Angela de Manzanos Guinot serve as the company’s leaders.
Dr. Angela de Manzanos Guinot, CEO said: “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 fertilisers, 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 revolutionising sustainable agriculture.”
The latest investment, which comes from Clean Growth Fund, Pymwymic, and Ship2B Ventures, will help FA Bio commercialise its technology, continue its research, and grow its workforce.
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 bio-tech sector and excited by the carbon emissions reduction that FA Bio’s technology can achieve in the agriculture sector.”
Sophie Pickering, Investment Manager at Pymwymic, added: “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.”
Jaime de Antonio, Investment Manager at Ship2B Ventures, said: “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.”
About FA Bio
FA Bio was established in 2015 and employs its proprietary targeted microbial sampling technique, SporSenZ, to gather data and microbial isolates from farming areas. The organisation then works to turn the most promising microorganisms into agricultural bioproducts for the most significant crops in our global food systems, working with its team of knowledgeable scientists to do so.