Mar. 8, 2018
Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm specialized in life sciences, 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 “.