The ecologically-minded French startup TOOPI Organics, specializing in the unusual market of using human urine for agriculture, announces that it has raised more than €1 million as part of its first capital round.
Having already won more than ten innovation prizes in the space of a year, the eco startup will open its first production unit in South Gironde by the end of 2020, which will be capable of transforming 750,000 liters of urine per year. With this funding, TOOPI Organics will also structure its collection network, secure the marketing of its urine-based biostimulants, and accelerate its national and European development.
This first fundraiser was led by investment company Evergreen International rank and impact fund makesense Seed I. Its existing shareholder, the regional fund Irdi Soridec was also joined by 3 family offices, 4 private investors, and the group Allsun, specialized in the importing and trading of fertilizers.
Incubated at UNITEC, TOOPI Organics carried out this first round with the support of the Agence de Développement et d’Innovation de Nouvelle-Aquitaine (ADI), the platform Fundmeuparm, and the funding of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Bordeaux.
Founded in February 2019 with the support of the BPI and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Toopi Organics has patented a microbiological process to enrich human urine with microorganisms of agronomic interest. The urine, which already contains the NPK fertilizers (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium), is decontaminated and converted into biostimulants at a lower cost. Studies carried out by Bordeaux Sciences Agro and the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture have shown that TOOPI products are 30%-110% more effective than traditional mineral fertilizers, and can reduce the plant’s need for water.
Michael Roes, CEO and co-founder, commented: “Our ecological objective is twofold. In France, we turn more than 200 billion liters of drinking water every year into urine. Our first objective is to preserve the water resource, by collecting 1% – 5% of the volumes of urine produced. Our second objective is to free farmers from dependence on mineral fertilizers, by offering them a real ecological alternative, with natural inputs that are more effective and cheaper than chemical fertilizers.”
Dr Pierre Huguier, Scientific Director and co-founder, also explained: “We now have two fertilizer distributors in our shareholders. Our efforts will focus in the coming months on strengthening our patent portfolio, obtaining marketing authorization, and setting up collection and processing units, first in France, then in the Benelux, where we are expected.”
Léa Zaslavsky, Co-founder of makesense, commented: “We were immediately convinced by the impact potential of TOOPI, an innovative solution that reuses waste for the benefit of sustainable agriculture. With its committed, ambitious and well-supported team, a real change of system is looming.”