Paris, May 2nd, 2023 - AGRIODOR announces the closing of a €5 million funding round led by Capagro, Cap Horn, BNP Paribas Développement, SWEN Capital Partners and Breizh Up (UI Investissement).
AGRIODOR has recently unveiled a new, unique, and patented biocontrol technology. It is an industrial R&D process capable of significantly accelerating the production of solutions and then automating them. The first application will concern the highly sensitive problem of beet production, with the aim of providing a concrete and effective alternative to insecticides, thereby enabling farmers to produce more sustainably. The developed solutions combine fragrances based on kairomones (attractants) and allomones (repellents) that modify the behavior of pest insects and allow for the reduction of damage caused to crops while respecting the environment and biodiversity.
An alternative to neonicotinoids that helps save the sugar beet industry in France and Europe.
The company aims to accelerate four new projects. The main project, which already has advanced results, concerns green aphids on sugar beet. Since 2021, AGRIODOR has been involved in the PNRI (National Research and Innovation Plan) project led by the “Institut Technique de la Betterave, ITB - French Sugar Beet Technical Institute” and INRAE to find alternatives to neonicotinoids on sugar beet. In Europe, neonicotinoids, which are the main means of protecting sugar beet against aphids, have been banned in seed treatment, causing significant losses to farmers and the industry.
In this context, AGRIODOR is developing a perfume that aims to disrupt the installation of aphids, reducing the spread of viruses and their damage to crops. This product will have an application mode compatible with farmers' equipment, allowing for large-scale use. With promising results in 2022, the development of this neonicotinoid alternative will help secure the sugar beet industry in Europe.
What is the talk about?
Crop pests cause up to 40% of crop production losses worldwide each year. Insecticides are currently the main method of controlling their population and preserving crops. However, in recent years, consumer pressure, regulatory changes, and the limited effectiveness of insecticides due to the emergence of resistance have questioned conventional production methods, sometimes leading to technical dead ends.
To ensure global food security, it is essential to find a positive way forward and help farmers secure their crops while initiating a real ecological transition in agriculture to preserve health, environment, and biodiversity. The desire to reduce agriculture's dependence on synthetic pesticides has been driving innovation in the biocontrol field for over 10 years.
In a world of smells, chemical mediators, including AGRIODOR's innovations, are a very promising approach to providing effective solutions to farmers in the fight against pests.
AGRIODOR develops perfumes based on kairomones (attractants) and allomones (repellents) that have an effect on crop pests' behavior. Indeed, AGRIODOR has understood the importance of odors in insects; endowed with an excellent sense of smell, they use smell to feed and reproduce.
Decoding the fragrances emitted by plants and perceived by insect antennae makes it possible to develop blends of odors that are most effective against specific targets of crop pests. AGRIODOR has an R&D platform in Rennes (France, Brittany), led by an international team of PhDs, which brings together complementary areas of expertise in analytical chemistry, behavior, electrophysiology, formulation, and agronomic trials. This laboratory integrates high-throughput R&D processes, reducing the development time and cost of active substances.
Beyond the green aphid, AGRIODOR technology has a broad scope of action and can be used on all crops and all families of crop pests, promising a potential for global deployment.
A virtuous economic model
Biocontrol will represent $11 billion globally by 2025 with an annual growth rate of 16%. The segment targeting insects represents the largest market share. AGRIODOR mainly targets markets that face technical deadlocks (elimination of chemical insecticides, emergence of a new pest) and where pest insects threaten food sovereignty. AGRIODOR's solutions are compatible with the use of other crops protection measures (pheromones, macro and micro-organisms, natural substances, insecticides) and consolidate the overall approach of plant protection programs per crop.
Today, AGRIODOR is targeting several markets, including two major crops in Europe threatened by pests due to the European ban on two insecticides: rapeseed and sugar beet. The world's first solution will be finalized in 2023 for the problem of sugar beet aphids to replace neonicotinoids. It will be deployable throughout Europe (targeting 1.5 million hectares).
According to Madame Ené LEPPIK, founder and CTO of AGRIODOR, "our technology is innovative. We have a state-of-the-art laboratory that allows us to make even faster progress in developing biocontrol solutions. To begin with, we have targeted major crops without solutions against pests. Soon, we will change the future of several agricultural sectors that are suffering greatly and preserve the national sovereignty of many threatened crops.”
Founded in 2019, AGRIODOR is a biotechnology company specializing in the fight against crop- damaging insects. AGRIODOR is a spin-off of INRAE in Versailles, where it launched its first project on the bean weevil. Under the scientific leadership of Ené LEPPIK PhD (CTO), AGRIODOR brings together a multidisciplinary team also led by Camille DELPOUX (COO) and Alain THIBAULT (CEO), who are committed to reducing the use of phytosanitary products by offering effective alternative solutions to farmers. AGRIODOR develops perfumes based on odor molecules produced naturally by plants that modify the behavior of pest insects. This technology is inspired by the natural relationships between plants and insects to protect crops. AGRIODOR was honored by the French Tech Rise with the "Impact" award, which recognizes companies capable of generating positive social and/or environmental impact for society.
For more information, please visit : www.agriodor.com
About BNP Paribas Développement
BNP Paribas Développement is an independent subsidiary of BNP Paribas which has for more than 30 years taken minority stakes in successful SMEs to support their growth and secure their long-term development by facilitating their transmission. In addition to providing the financial resources that permit stability, BNP Paribas Développement's mission is to assist management teams in carrying out strategic medium-term projects. As a minority shareholder we provide our partners with appropriate governance without interference in day-to-day management. They also benefit from the strength of a leading banking group and the experience of a partner with more than 500 diversified investments, including 70 startups.
About UI Investissement
UI Investissement is an independent Private Equity firm specializing in the development of unlisted French companies. For over 50 years, UI has been committed to work alongside managers and leaders of growing start-ups, SMEs and medium-sized companies (ETIs) to create and develop economically successful companies in the long term. UI Investissement manages nearly €1.5 billion in assets and had invested with more than 300 business managers in essential sectors such as healthcare, agribusiness, business services and industry. Growth and Buyout capital, the historical core of UI's activity, represents more than two-thirds of the AUM and its more than fifty companies in our portfolio that can rely on UI's operational expertise and methodological tools. The management teams and investment vehicles dedicated to venture capital and distressed investments support companies throughout their life cycle and contribute to the economic dynamism. Today, UI has more than 70 professionals and 13 regional offices across France.
Capagro is a French independent management company founded in 2014. Its mission is to accelerate the development of promising AgTech and FoodTech startups which offer a high potential for financial, strategic and impact value creation through their innovative technologies. Capagro leverages its unique network of industrial partners, made of key players in the agri-food value chain, to promote the transition of the agri-food sector. These partners include industrial players like Groupe Avril, Groupe Bel, LSDH, Terrena and Euralis, as well as the French Public Bank of Investment Bpifrance and French bank Crédit Agricole. As a responsible investor and signatory of the UN “Principles for Responsible Investment”, Capagro implements an ESG and impact approach in its investment activities and in its relations with its partners. Capagro's team of seasoned investors is unique in combining strong sector expertise with a wide range of international experience.
For further information see: www.capagro.fr
CapHorn is a Paris-based VC firm investing in innovative companies across Europe, focusing on Healthtech, Sustainability, and Enterprise software. We partner with outstanding entrepreneurs and commit investments from € 1M to € 15M in high growth companies, from early to late stage.
CapHorn has a portfolio of 65 companies and supports their development by leveraging its extensive network of business leaders. The firm, established in 2011, is part of the Anaxago Group.
For more information : www.caphorn.vc
SWEN Capital Partners is a leading player in sustainable investment in private equity, infrastructure and mezzanine debt, with more than €7.7 billion (cumulative commitments) in assets under management and advisory, and employs nearly 100 people. The management company, owned by the Ofi Invest group (whose main shareholders are entities of the Aéma group: Macif, Abeille Assurances holding, Aésio Mutuelle) and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, as well as its team, has always placed the ESG & impact approach at the heart of its approach and offers its clients innovative and sustainable investment solutions. SWEN CP supports entrepreneurs and its partners in their efforts to address social, societal and/or environmental issues and to create sustainable value, which it believes is essential for an useful finance. SWEN CP supports French startups in the health, tech and digital sectors, from seed to series B.
For more information : https://www.swen-cp.fr/
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