FA Bio, the British bio-tech company with a vision to protect natural ecosystems by identifying superior microbial bio-products that will improve soil health and boost crop production, 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.  


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 investment underlines the growing financial commitment to the bio-tech sector by VC funds across global markets.

Based at the Rothamsted Research Centre in Harpenden, a world-leading research facility that focuses on agricultural science, 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.  

Microbial sampling

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

Dr Angela de Manzanos Guinot, CEO said: “Intensive agriculture and overuse of agrochemicals have contributed to a 70% 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.”  

Commercialising technology

The new investment, made by Clean Growth Fund, Pymwymic and Ship2B Ventures, will support the commercialisation of FA Bio’s technology, the company’s ongoing research work and fund the expansion of its team.

Dr Jonathan Tudor, Investment Partner at Clean Growth Fund said: “We are excited to be supporting FA Bio’s next phase of growth. Angela and Kerry, and all of the FA Bio team, have achieved so much, and given the challenges – natural and man-made – that agriculture is facing across the world, FA Bio has significant growth potential. We are delighted to be investing in the UK bio-tech sector and excited by the carbon emissions reduction that FA Bio’s technology can achieve in agriculture.” 

Game changer

Sophie Pickering, Investment Manager at Pymwymic said: “We truly believe FA Bio’s innovative discovery method promises game-changing products for sustainable agriculture. We’re thrilled to welcome the team to our portfolio to support them in their journey of creating greater impact.”  

Jaime de Antonio, Investment Manager at Ship2B Ventures said: “Our mission at Ship2B Ventures is to back bold entrepreneurs that are solving the most pressing problems faced by humankind. Thus, we are thrilled to support Angela and Kerry’s purpose to disrupt the Agrifood industry for the better. We truly believe FA Bio’s developments will protect a damaged natural GHG sink, the land.” 

The investment in FA Bio is Pymwymic’s fifth investment of its Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II, Clean Growth Fund’s third investment in the UK bio-tech sector and Ship2B Ventures’ third investment in the agri-food space. The investors look forward to supporting FA Bio in its mission to revolutionise and accelerate the move towards sustainable agriculture.