• Micropep Technologies, developing a non-GMO new generation of bioherbicides and biostimulants, is the third investment of the Sofinnova IB I fund dedicated to industrial biotech
• Sofinnova IB I, which recently closed at €125M, is the largest European fund dedicated to sustainable transition of the chemical industry.
Paris, March 6th 2018 – Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in life sciences, today announces that Micropep Technologies, a biotech company focused on biological alternatives to agrochemicals, raised €4M. Sofinnova Partners becomes the company’s leading shareholder, next to IRDInov and Toulouse Tech Transfer. Sofinnova Partners invested with its recently closed €125M fund dedicated to the sustainable transition of the chemical industry, Sofinnova IB I, which is the largest European fund dedicated to this fast growing new area.
After Agrosavfe, which focuses on biological molecules to replace chemical fungicides and insecticides, Micropep is Sofinnova IB1’s second investment in Ag-Biotech, and third overall. Sofinnova Partners has been investing in industrial biotech since 2009 and today has a portfolio of 11 companies, in Europe and North America, at different stages of maturity. They range from companies at proof of concept, such as Enobraq in Toulouse (France) developing micro-organisms using C02 as source of carbon, all the way to commercial stage like Avantium in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) developing a brand-new type of plastic using renewable raw material.
Micropep, founded in 2016 in Toulouse, focuses on bioherbicides and biostimulants. The company uses plants’ natural molecules, called “micro-peptides”, to temporarily control expression of their genes and regulate plant growth but leaving their DNA intact. The company currently works on four development programs: germination, flowering, growth, and weed control. The proceeds of the financing will be used to strengthen its technology platform, further its R&D programs to proof of concept, and initiate its commercial growth with a strong international focus.
Denis Lucquin, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners, says: “We are thrilled to back Micropep. This young company has all the necessary features we look for: a breakthrough technology with a strong commercial and environmental impact and clear business objectives driven by visionary entrepreneurs.”
Thomas Laurent, Micropep’s CEO and co-Founder, continues: “Sofinnova Partners’ support represents a major step for Micropep’s development. Their expert knowledge combined with an unparalleled international network, validates the work we accomplished so far and represents a strong advantage for our growth and our ambition to revolutionize agriculture “.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together 12 highly experienced investment professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a founding and lead investor in start-ups and corporate spin-offs, and has backed nearly 500 companies over 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.6 billion under management. For more information, please visit: www.sofinnova.fr
About Sofinnova IB 1
Sofinnova IB 1 is Sofinnova Partners’ first fund dedicated to industrial biotechnologies, with a focus on start-ups in Europe and North America and more specifically on the sustainable transition of the chemical industry. With €125M in capital, financed by institutional investors and industrial players, the Fund plans to invest in about ten companies. These companies, in their early stage, focus on the replacement of fossil carbon by a renewable one and cover the entire chemical industry, from agrichemicals to polymers and specialty chemicals.