Friday November 20th 2020



Aphea.Bio, a Belgium-based agtech startup, announced that it secured a €14 million Series B round led by Astanor Ventures and joined by current shareholders V-Bio Ventures, Agri Investment Fund, PMV, Vives Fund, VIB, Qbic II and Gemma Frisius Fund.

This funding further strengthens Aphea.Bio’s plans to advance its biostimulant and biofungicide research and development programs towards submission of the regulatory dossier and to support the launch of the company’s first products. This new round of funding will also support expanded research and development in the areas of bioinsecticides and bioherbicides. With its broad pipeline, Aphea.Bio sets course to become the ‘one-stop-shop’ for biological product development.

“Astanor Ventures is the perfect lead investor in Aphea.Bio’s Series B funding, said Isabel Vercauteren, CEO of Aphea.Bio”. “We both share the same ambition of making an impact on modern agriculture and to move towards a more healthy and sustainable food system”.

Hendrik Van Asbroeck, Partner at Astanor Ventures, said: “Astanor’s core thesis, a healthy food system starts from the soil, is fully in line with the strategy of Aphea.Bio. Toxicity of chemical pesticides and the urgent need to restore the soil microbiome argue in favor of new innovative players such as Aphea.Bio. We are certain that with such an outstanding team and technology, Aphea.Bio will pave the way towards a more sustainable agrifood sector.”

Steven Vandenabeele, CSO at Aphea.Bio added: “We succeed in using microorganisms via seed treatment as a growth promoter in wheat, achieving significantly higher yields under reduced fertilizer regimes. Besides that, our field trial campaigns indicate that our sprayable applications to protect wheat against the economically most important fungal diseases offer a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides.”

Johan De Saegher, chairman of the board, said: “Aphea.Bio’s products will provide disruptive full-fledged bio-based s0lutions to the farmers to control diseases and pests  and to use more efficiently  fertilizers in the main food crops. . With its biostimulant and biopesticides product concepts, Aphea.Bio anticipates the vision  of using at least 20% less fertilizers and halving the use of chemical pesticides by 2030, as outlined  in the Farm-to-Fork strategy, a cornerstone of the European Green Deal.”

Encouraged by promising data, propelled by an outstanding team, motivated by the European Green Deal ambitions and backed by a solid consortium of investors, Aphea.Bio is now up for the further development and scale up of the most promising products.

Isabel Vercauteren concluded: “We are thrilled to bring the company to this next important phase towards launching our products to the market.”

About Aphea.Bio

Aphea.Bio is a leading R&D company developing the next generation biological products based on naturally occurring microorganisms.

Since its launch in 2017, Aphea.Bio has taken a huge leap in the development of biological products. The company has built a unique, high-throughput screening platform to isolate, identify and test the activity of novel microorganisms to increase crop yields and protect against specific fungal diseases. Moreover, Aphea.Bio has build-up an extensive portfolio of prototype products that are validated in wheat and corn fields in various locations across Europe.

About Astanor Ventures

Astanor Ventures is a European Impact Investing venture firm, targeting technology enabled companies across the agri-food value chain focused on 3 sub sectors, agriculture, food and blue ocean economy, leveraging disruptive technologies to bring about a future of food that is nourishing, regenerative, trusted and ultra-fresh.