AgriTech FA Bio has raised £5.3 million.

The Hertfordshire firm aims to protect natural ecosystems by identifying microbial bio-products that improve soil health and boost crop production.

It has been backed by three European venture capital investment funds as well as existing shareholders and new private investors.

The investment was co-led by UK-based Clean Growth Fund and Pymwymic, a Dutch-based impact VC fund focused on investing in food and agriculture technologies. Ship2B Ventures, a Spanish impact VC fund investing in early-stage companies addressing key environmental and social issues, has also invested in the round. 

Based at the Rothamsted Research Centre in Harpenden, a world-leading research facility that focuses on agricultural science, FA Bio – previously known as FungiAlert – is leading the discovery and development of biocontrols, biostimulants and biofertilisers that can replace chemical inputs in agriculture. 

Its SporSenZ technology, a unique targeted microbial sampling strategy, collects data and microbial isolates from agricultural fields. With its team of expert scientists, the company then looks to develop the most promising microbes into agricultural bioproducts for the most important crops in our global food systems.  

The company is led by Dr Angela de Manzanos Guinot and Dr Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver.  

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“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,” said CEO De Manzanos Guinot.

“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.”  

Dr Jonathan Tudor, investment partner at Clean Growth Fund, said: “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 agriculture.” 

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.”

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