Ghent-based agro-biotech company AgroSavfe is responding to the challenge for the food and agricultural sector to improve production and efficiency sustainably by developing alternatives to pesticides. Founded in 2013 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology), AgroSavfe focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of effective and safe biocontrols to tackle pests and diseases using its scalable, proprietary AGROBODY™ technology platform.
AgroSavfe has just raised €35 million in a Series C round led by Gimv with participation from Sofinnova Partners, PMV, Agri Investment Fund, K&E, Biovest, Madeli Participaties, VIB, and Qbic. With an investment of €10 million, Ackermans & van Haaren is also joining AgroSavfe as a new shareholder.
The new funding will primarily be used to enhance the development and commercially scale the production of AgroSavfe’s biofungicides and bio-insecticides. BioFun 1, the first product in the AgroSavfe pipeline, is aimed at controlling fungi on fruit and vegetables. With more than 100 field trials by the end of 2019, the company has demonstrated the strong performance of its advanced biofungicide product: environmentally friendly, as effective as chemical solutions and food safe, as biocontrols leave no harmful chemicals behind.
The launch of its first biofungicide product is planned for 2022 in the US fruit and vegetable market, immediately followed by a launch in Europe and other regions globally. In addition, the funds will support the acceleration of the innovative pipeline development for applications against critical food and crop pests and diseases.
“Biotechnology has created significant and unique added value in the life sciences, food and chemical markets in recent decades,” said Lieven De Smedt, Chairman of the Board of AgroSavfe. “Today we see the same happening in the agricultural sector, both in the US and in Europe. Long-term success depends not only on robust technology and a strong business-minded management, it also requires long-term shareholders. AgroSavfe has a unique combination of all of the above. We thank our historic shareholders who fully endorse this financing round and welcome Piet Bevernage who -on behalf of Ackermans & van Haaren- will join our Board.”