The Agri-FoodTech investment continues to break records across the world, reaching $20 billion in 2019, up more than 6-fold the 2012. Investment. PlantResponse Biotech SL has been listed among the top Agribusiness market investments in Europe and Spain in 2019.
Europe had just posted record-breaking levels of investment in agri-foodtech startups in 2019 at $3.4bn. 2019’s largest deal in Europe – an outlier that somewhat skews the results – was the $575m Series G for Deliveroo in the UK. That company, which is listed in the Restaurant Marketplace category, is no doubt grateful for that capital injection as it seeks to respond to overwhelming consumer demand and a wounded restaurant industry. eGrocery and Cloud Retail Infrastructure – a new AgFunder category encompassing ghost kitchens and last-mile delivery services – were the next most invested categories across the supply chain in 2019 in Europe. An increase in investment in Novel Farming Systems, such as vertical farming, also appears prescient in the new normal situation.
Several of the largest agrifood tech funding’s in Europe went to Ag Biotech companies. Overall, the segment saw a 21% uptick in investment value to $277m from $229m. Deal activity remained stable. Topping the charts was Spain’s PlantResponse Biotech, a spinoff of the Centro de Biotecnologia y Genómica de Plantas, a joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA). PlantResponse Biotech secured debts and equity investment in part to fund its acquisition of Koch’s biological business (USA). France’s M2I Life Sciences scored the second largest funding, followed by Belgium’s Biotalys (previously known as AgroSavfe) and France’s DNA Script.
Notably, Spain was one of the top countries in Europe for raising agri-foodtech capital and while it was the third most active by number of deals, the total $439 million was mostly down to one company: last-mile delivery app Glovo, the Barcelona-based company. Next in the top least of investment was the Madrid-based spin-off PlantResponse Biotech, which secured $77 million in debt financing in November to start to fund a series of acquisitions as part of a biologicals roll-up strategy. Alongside PlantResponse, Spain has a few other notable biotech companies, including VEnvirotech, which converts organic waste to bioplastics. CubiqFoods and Biotech Foods are both in the “lab-grown meat” market, making cell-based fats and cellular meat, respectively.
PlantResponse Biotech is a plant biotechnology company specializing in plant innate immunity, plant physiology, and nutrient use efficiency. Utilize expertise in plant science to understand key crop challenges, we develop sustainable solutions to address those challenges by bridging the gap between pioneering research and current market needs. PlantResponse Biotech is a spin-off of the Centro de Biotecnologia y Genómica de Plantas, a joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA). PlantResponse Biotech was founded by UPM Professor and CBGP Researchers, Antonio Molina and Pablo Rodríguez-Palenzuela, under the ActuaUPM entrepreneurship program.
The Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP) is a joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA). The CBGP (UPM-INIA) holds the recognition of centre of Excellence Severo Ochoa. The strategic objectives of CBGP (UPM-INIA) are the generation of fundamental knowledge on the genetic and molecular bases of key biological and physiological processes in plants and plant-interacting organisms, and on genomics of plants and plant-interacting organisms. The Centre also aims to develop new Computational Biology technologies for the functional analysis of plants/microorganisms. CBGP researchers are grouped into four Research Areas/Themes: Plant Development, Interactions of Plants with Environment (8 groups), Biotechnology, and Computational/Systems Biology and Genomics Program (CsBGP). CBGP has attracted talented scientists since its foundation, including 15 Tenure-track positions and 3 ERC Starting Grants. The centre has a remarkable Translational Biology activity within the innovation ecosystem of the International Campus of Excellence of Montegancedo-UPM, that has resulted in the creation of four CBGP based spin-off enterprises (e. g. Plant Response Biotech) and in the development of new products/processes for the bioeconomy sectors.
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