Company researches microbial by-products to boost soil health and crop production

Dr Angela de Manzanos Guinot

Dr Angela de Manzanos Guinot

British biotech company FA Bio has secured a £5.3 million tranche of investment from three European venture capital investment funds as well as existing shareholders and new private investors.

FA Bio’s vision is to protect natural ecosystems by identifying superior microbial bio-products that will improve soil health and boost crop production.

The investment was co-led by Clean Growth Fund, one of the UK’s leading clean-tech venture capital (VC) funds, and Pymwymic, a Dutch-based impact VC fund focused on investing in food and agriculture technologies.

Ship2B Ventures, a Spanish impact VC fund investing in early-stage companies addressing key environmental and social issues, has also invested in the round. 

The new investment will support the commercialisation of FA Bio’s technology, the company’s ongoing research work and fund the expansion of its team.

Superior microbial bioproducts

Based at the Rothamsted Research Centre in Harpenden, FA Bio - previously known as FungiAlert - is leading the discovery and development of superior microbial bioproducts, including biocontrols, biostimulants and biofertilisers that can replace chemical inputs in agriculture. The company is led by Dr Angela de Manzanos Guinot and Dr Kerry O’Donnelly Weaver.

FA Bio utilises its SporSenZ technology, a targeted microbial sampling strategy, to collect data and microbial isolates from agricultural fields. With its team of scientists, the company then looks to develop the most promising microbes into agricultural bioproducts for crops.

Manzanos Guinot said: “Intensive agriculture and overuse of agrochemicals have contributed to a 70 per cent biodiversity loss in the past 50 years, which has been made worse by the damaging effects of climate change - drought, soil warming and higher levels of CO2.

“Our innovative technology and game-changing bioproducts have the potential to boost crop productivity and provide a natural alternative to chemical fertilisers, protecting the world’s natural ecosystems. With this latest round of investment, we can accelerate our R&D work and development of bioproducts for the agriculture sector and achieve our vision of revolutionising sustainable agriculture.”