Scottish startup SOLASTA Bio nabs €1.5 million to create nature-inspired pesticides

Co-founder Professor Shireen Davies

SOLASTA Bio, a Glasgow University spin-out, has nabbed seed funding of around €1.5 million to support the development of its nature-inspired pesticides, which are some of the first of their kind.

SOLASTA Bio was founded in 2020, after four years of research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the European Commission, with commercialisation support from Scottish Enterprise. The team develops environmentally-friendly products that meet the need for effective crop protection, meaning that they target insect pests, while preserving beneficial pollinators such as bees.

Investors in this round include The Yield Lab Europe, SIS Ventures, members of Cambridge Agritech and UKI2S, which also provided access to the Innovate UK sub fund grant.

Now, the SOLASTA Bio team aims to take the trials of its biopesticides out of the laboratory and into real-world settings. The objective is to bring its first biopesticides to market in 2027, which is around half the time traditionally taken by synthetic pest control products.

SOLASTA Bio was co-founded by scientist and entrepreneur Professor Shireen Davies, who acts as CEO, as well as insect biology and functional genomics Professor Julian Dow, who acts as Chief Scientific Officer, in addition to former BASF senior executive Paul Bernasconi, who is CTO.

If you want to learn more, Shireen Anne Davies recently presented SOLASTA Bio at the RSE Enterprise Fellowships: