Agronomics invests in Wild Microbes US$3.3 Million Pre-Seed Financing Round
RNS Number : 7525QAgronomics Limited
23 February 2023
(“Agronomics” or the “Company”)
Agronomics invests in Wild Microbes US$3.3 Million Pre-Seed Financing Round
Agronomics (ANIC:LSE), the leading listed company focused on the field of cellular agriculture, is pleased to announce that the Company has invested US$ 0.5 million in the form of a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (“SAFE”), in Wild Microbes Company (“Wild Microbes”), as part of Wild Microbes’ US$ 3.3 million Pre-seed financing. The subscription was paid using cash from the Company’s own resources.
Wild Microbes’ proprietary technology will allow it to genetically engineer novel microbial strains for use as host-organisms to produce proteins and other high value molecules. Currently, the majority of precision fermentation companies rely on a small handful of microorganisms to produce proteins. Wild Microbes have the tools that it expects can be used to generate a catalogue of superior microorganisms which can vastly improve production efficiency for the entire industry and bring down costs.
The SAFE is expected to convert into preferred shares in Wild Microbes at a future equity financing round, giving Agronomics an approximate equity ownership of 4.17% on a fully diluted basis, and accounts for approximately 0.3% of the last published Net Asset Value of Agronomics (31 December 2022).
The full announcement is set out below without any material changes:
Wild Microbes Announces Successful US$3.3 Million Pre-Seed Financing Round
Wild Microbes, a company developing next-generation microbes for biomanufacturing, announced today an oversubscribed $3.3 million pre-seed financing round. The company is building the largest catalog of diverse, industrial microbes in the sector using their high-throughput engineering technology. Wild Microbes’s scalable platform targets new microbes with unique traits and then rapidly domesticates them and develops them for the manufacturing of sustainable products.
The company’s initial focus is on new microbes for protein manufacturing. Proteins are used in industries like food, cleaning products, and cosmetics. The production of proteins by microbial fermentation is already a large industry, and its continued growth has the potential to deliver a large and positive impact on the environment. With their technology, Wild Microbes seeks to reduce the cost of existing protein manufacturing processes and reduce the cost, time and risk of bringing new protein products to market.
Beyond proteins, Wild Microbes is exploring new categories ranging from sustainable chemicals to renewable feedstock usage. “The precision fermentation industry relies on a small handful of microbes to make almost every product” said Ben Kramer, cofounder of Wild Microbes. “Meanwhile in nature there are countless microbial species we can harness to make better, cheaper products. We are drawing on billions of years of evolution; nature already did the hard part.”
“We are thrilled to have the support of an outstanding group of investors as we launch Wild Microbes, with a new vision for biomanufacturing,” said Tim Wannier, cofounder of Wild Microbes. “This financing round will allow us to begin the development of our microbial engine, and to identify the first specific use cases for our growing strain catalog.”
Wild Microbes’s round was led by Climate Capital Bio, with participation from Freeflow, Agronomics, and Fall Line Capital. Tim and Ben first met as a part of Nucleate’s Activator program and in addition to support through Nucleate, this round also included support from the Activate Fellowship, Third Derivative, Alpine Social Ventures, and a small group of Angel investors.
About Wild Microbes
Wild Microbes is a synthetic biology company developing a catalog of new biomanufacturing hosts. The company’s best-in-class genetic toolkit and innovative approach to engineering are set to change the fermentation industry. New microbial species will power a transition to better economics and allow the industry to deliver more bio-products to consumers. For more information, visit www.wildmicrobes.com.
Agronomics is a leading listed alternative proteins company with a focus on cellular agriculture and cultivated meat. The Company has established a portfolio of over 20 companies in this rapidly advancing sector. It seeks to secure minority stakes in companies owning technologies with defensible intellectual property that offer new ways of producing food and materials with a focus on products historically derived from animals. These technologies are driving a major disruption in agriculture, offering solutions to improve sustainability, as well as addressing human health, animal welfare and environmental damage. This disruption will decouple supply chains from the environment and animals and be fundamental to feeding the world’s expanding population. A full list of Agronomics’ portfolio companies is available at https://agronomics.im/.
About Cellular Agriculture
Cellular Agriculture is the production of agriculture products directly from cells, as opposed to raising an animal for slaughter or growing crops. This encompasses cell culture to produce cultivated meat and materials, and fermentation processes that harness a combination of molecular biology, synthetic biology, tissue engineering and biotechnology to massively simplify production methods in a sustainable manner.
Over the coming decades, the source of the world’s food supply traditionally derived from conventional agriculture is going to change dramatically. We have already witnessed the first wave of this shift with the consumer adoption of plant-based alternative proteins but today, we are on the cusp of an even bigger wave of change. This is being facilitated by advances in cellular agriculture. This change is necessary, given scientists’ claims that if we maintain existing animal protein consumption patterns, then we will not meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5℃.
AT Kearney, a global consultancy firm, projects that cultivated meat’s market share will reach 35% by 2040. This combined with the Good Food Institute’s estimate that a US $1.8 trillion investment will be required in order to produce just 10% of the world’s protein using this technology, means that we are on the cusp of a multi-decade flow of capital to build out manufacturing facilities. Funding in the field of cellular agriculture is accelerating, however, still, less than US$ 5 billion has been invested worldwide since the industry’s inception in 2016.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014, as it forms part of UK Domestic Law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
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