September 26, 2023

Ghent-based Aphea.Bio, an agritech and portfolio company of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), announced on Tuesday, July 11, that it has secured €70M in an oversubscribed Series C round of funding.

This investment intends to enhance sustainable agriculture practices, reaffirming the ECBF’s commitment to a healthier, more resilient food system.

The round was led by Innovation Industries joined by Korys Investments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, SFPIM and BNP Paribas Fortis, as well as existing shareholders. 

Funds for research and development

Aphea.Bio says it will use the capital to fuel its rapid growth. The funds will allow the company to further advance R&D in biologicals, scale product launches, expand market reach, and commercialise product offerings.

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Isabel Vercauteren, CEO of Aphea.Bio says, “We are excited to have secured Series C Funding, which not only validates our mission to enable sustainable, profitable, and reliable farming but also propels us toward commercialisation.”

“This investment allows us to broaden our operations and bring our products to market at a larger scale, so we can address urgent agricultural challenges and meet the needs of farmers worldwide, while at the same time ensuring accessibility and affordability for smallholder farmers in low-income countries,” adds Vercauteren.

“Driving the revolution in biologicals”

Founded in 2017 by Isabel Vercauteren and Steven Vandenabeele, Aphea.Bio is committed to food security and a secure and healthy food supply chain.

“We aim to provide novel, science-based solutions to build the agriculture of the future: sustainable, reliable and profitable,” says the company.

Aphea.Bio is a fully integrated microbial product development company that offers scientifically based solutions to create the lucrative, dependable, and sustainable agriculture of the future. 

“Based on our unique high throughput APEX R&D platform utilising the untapped microbial space, we have been able to build a broad biostimulant and biocontrol pipeline based on naturally occurring micro-organisms,” adds the company.

Recent growth and development

Aphea.Bio mentions that it is witnessing “remarkable” growth at the time of this funding. Over 50 scientists and industry experts now make up the company’s workforce, and it is already expanding its research facilities with the opening of a new pilot plant later this year.

Additionally, the company has also achieved advancements in its product line. It entered the market for the first time with the recent introduction of CTIV by Aphea.Bio, a biostimulant seed treatment.

In the future, Aphea.Bio is looking to launch its first maize biostimulant in 2024 and is prepared to apply for regulatory clearance in the US and Europe for its first biofungicide in Q1 and Q3 of 2024, respectively.

About European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF)

Founded in 2020, Luxembourg-based The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) is the first venture fund dedicated to the bioeconomy and circular economy. The firm backs visionary European entrepreneurs who are driving the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy.

ECBF seeks to catalyse the transition to a more sustainable future by investing in biobased growth-stage firms with significant potential for innovation, favourable returns, and long-term impact. 

With €300M in AUM, ECBF is focused on investing capital in appealing and impactful enterprises situated in the EU-27 or 16-HORIZON 2020-related countries. 

Speaking about the investment in Aphea.Bio, Stéphane Roussel, Partner at ECBF, says, “ECBF is proud to stand alongside Aphea.Bio as they assert their position as a leading innovator in the agricultural biologics market.”

“The oversubscribed Series C will enable Aphea.Bio to accelerate its mission of revolutionising agriculture through groundbreaking science-based microbial solutions. This investment not only strengthens our partnership, but also advances our collective efforts of transitioning to a more sustainable agri-food system,” adds Roussel.

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