200 hundred million tons of synthetic fertilizer, 4 million tons of pesticides, and 37 percent of global climate gas emissions.
Those are just the numbers from 2021 showcasing how agriculture and food production currently impact our climate and environment. Thus, new sustainable technologies are needed to support a green transition in the agricultural sector while also meeting higher and different demands for food and diets, as the world’s population will likely grow to nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
In the hunt for solutions to address these significant challenges, Morten Østergaard Andersen and Julia Magdalena Østergaard Andersen, who both have scientific backgrounds from the University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University, came up with the idea of using 3D bioprinting initially developed for biomedical purposes, to harness the power of naturally occurring microbes that could replace the use of harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. The idea developed into the microbeTRAP technology that uses a biomaterial-induced natural selection process to find high-performing microbes from the environment. This new method is inexpensive, fast, efficient, and a radical break from finding microbes by library screening, which is what most microbial industries do.
With that idea and mission in mind, they applied to BII’s Venture Lab program and got accepted as the first ag-tech start-up in BII’s history in September 2021. Only two years later, the company counts 17 people and is located in Odense with its own in-house 1200m2 production and test facility where they can perform research, produce quality-controlled microorganisms, and test their solutions and products. The company launched its first product, a biostimulant called SeedSpeed®, after just 17 months. Besides that, they have attracted experienced people to the board, among others, the newest member, Anders Gram, a former Vice President of Product and Manufacturing at the US-based company Indigo Ag.
Accelerating journey with new investment
This impressive and rapid development during the last few years also recently resulted in Bioomix raising a USD 6.7M investment led by Westhill Capital alongside existing investors such as PreSeed Ventures and Planetary Impact Ventures.
Something that will bring Bioomix even closer to achieving its goals, according to the CEO, Morten Østergaard Andersen.
“With this infusion of capital, we can accelerate the development and manufacturing of innovative microbial solutions for farmers, promoting sustainable, productive, and profitable food production. Our vision remains — to support farmers, make agriculture more sustainable, reduce its environmental impact, combat deforestation, and address the global food security challenges. This investment propels us closer to achieving that mission,” says Morten Østergaard Andersen, CEO and Co-founder of Bioomix.
The news about the investment was also well-received by Christian Brix Tillegreen, Director of Planetary Health at BII and anchor for Bioomix during its time in the Venture Lab program.
“Bioomix is an outstanding example of how we can harness the power of nature and use naturally occurring microbes to solve some of the significant challenges related to agriculture and food production. Thus, this new investment round is an essential step in the company’s journey to reach its mission of providing sustainable and affordable alternatives to farmers to pave the way for a green transition in the agricultural sector,” he says and adds:
“From BII’s perspective, it also means a lot as we would like to see even more ag-tech start-ups in our programs, and the story of Bioomix can serve as an inspiration for others as innovation in this field is highly needed.”
If you feel inspired by Bioomix’s story, we currently have an open call for BII’s Venture Lab program