The massive potential of pheromones
A significant market exists for pheromone-based mating disruption today. The products are used in small-acreage high-value crops such as berries, apples and greenhouse crops. There is a game-changing potential for sustainable pheromone-based mating disruption solutions in row crops, but it requires a significantly lower production cost for the pheromone, than what is possible with today’s production technology. Each of the world’s four largest row crops has a cultivated area more than 100x the area covered by current pheromone solutions.
BioPhero’s innovation is a biotechnology platform for microbial production of pheromones, and the industrial-scale fermentation processes which cost-enable their application in row-crop environments at a full-solution per-hectare treatment cost to the grower comparable with conventional insecticides.
BioPhero’s approach is unique because we are the only company in the pheromone industry to fully use the potential of biological production, and to make the product available to the industry as active ingredients. We are the leader in the field of biotech production of pheromones and have IP covering key parts of our technology platform.
We believe the time is right for the introduction of large-scale use of pheromones as a pest control technique. Here are four reasons why:
- Conventional insecticides are under pressure from regulators and consumers
- The need to manage resistant pests sustainably is increasing
- There is a trend towards Integrated Pest Management (IPM) using biological solutions
- The technologies required to create cost-effective solutions are all established
BioPhero has closed two funding rounds:
- Seed round of €3m in September 2018, with a consortium consisting of Novo Seeds, Syngenta Group Ventures, and Syddansk Innovation.
- A-round of $17m in February 2021, led by DCVC Bio, with participation from FMC Ventures, Novo Seeds, and Syngenta Group Ventures
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About Novo Seeds
Novo Seeds is the early-stage investment arm of Novo Holdings. Novo Holdings is a Danish private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S, and is responsible for managing the Foundation’s assets.
In addition to being the major shareholder in the Novo Group companies, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies, takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies within life science and manages a broad portfolio of financial assets. It is the vision of Novo Holdings to be recognised as a world-leading life science investor with a focus on creating long-term value.
About Syngenta Group Ventures
Syngenta Group Ventures invests globally in innovative businesses whose purpose helps “Bringing plant potential to life”.
As the venture capital arm of the Syngenta Group, one of the world’s leading agribusiness companies, Syngenta Group Ventures is seeking to identify early stage companies with a strong technology base or new business model, or both, where the team of investment professionals, together with the support of the 25,000 colleagues across the world, can help build valuable businesses benefitting both Syngenta and the investee company stakeholders.
The international and multi-disciplinary team, located in the US and Europe, has extensive strategic and financial experience. Combined with Syngenta’s deep and broad capabilities, this will help portfolio companies maximise their value to achieve a successful outcome for both the company and its investors.
About DCVC Bio
DCVC Bio is a VC fund investing in early-stage computational biology startups. Advances in genetic sequencing, artificial intelligence and automation are converging to transform existing life sciences technologies and speed the development of new ones. We are looking for companies affecting deep technological change in synthetic biology, medicine, and agriculture. We are especially interested in teams shaping the biochemical building blocks the life sciences industry runs on. Read more at www.dcvc.com
About FMC Corporation
FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company, provides innovative solutions to growers around the world with a robust product portfolio fueled by a market-driven discovery and development pipeline in crop protection, plant health, and professional pest and turf management. This powerful combination of advanced technologies includes leading insect control products based on Rynaxypyr® and Cyazypyr® active ingredients.
FMC Ventures, the new venture arm of FMC Corporation, invests in start-ups and early-stage companies that develop and apply emerging technologies in the agricultural industry. It evaluates emerging technologies of relevance to the agricultural industry and invests in those that create a unique strategic advantage for FMC. Agriculture’s most pressing challenges are being addressed through advances in artificial intelligence (AI), genomics, robotics, precision agriculture, biopesticides, synthetic biology and other innovations.
Read more at: www.fmc.com/en/fmc-ventures