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France: Mycophyto raises 4 million euro

After a remarkable fundraising of 1.4 million euros [1.5 million USD] in 2019, Mycophyto has recently closed a new round of financing of 4.155 million euros [4.5 million USD]. Founded in 2017 by Christine Poncet and Justine Lipuma, the startup company develops natural biological solutions (mycorrhizal fungi) to revitalize soils and accelerate plant development. Mycophyto is now starting to produce on a larger scale, with the desire to become the leader on the European market by 2025.

Development in line with the company's ambitions
The objective of Mycophyto is to allow farmers to make an economically realistic and sustainable environmental transition. To achieve this, they must be able to innovate with reliable, effective, and easily applicable solutions. Thanks to its growing number of employees and new profiles to bring the new skills required, Mycophyto is ready to take on the target sectors of the European market by 2025.

The company's revenue has been increasing thanks to a growing portfolio of clients, both in France and abroad. With more than 30 recurring clients this year and a presence in 4 major agricultural sectors (perfume, aromatic and medicinal plants, fruit/vegetable production, vineyards and landscaping), Mycophyto has been able to demonstrate the benefits of its solutions: higher yields (15 to 30%), reduction of inputs (up to -40% less water stress) and improved quality of the production. These results now help the company prepare for the large-scale deployment of its products and services. "We must no longer think in terms of thousands of treated plants but in terms of tens of hectares, in order to meet our clients' demand. To achieve this, we have been increasing our production capacity and industrializing our processes," explains Justine Lipuma.

The agritech startup has made it this far thanks to its success in terms of innovation. Mycophyto has also been able to prove the benefits of indigenous mycorrhization for crop productivity and soil resilience, and to gain unique expertise based on the knowledge of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi with a Biobank, a patented production system and the development of a unique predictive information system combining biotechnology, big data and artificial intelligence. Winner of the Agri20 ranking in 2022, Mycophyto is recognized for its potential by the French Tech mission.

By 2025, the goal is to produce a range of products and services on a large scale, while maintaining custom-made offers for exceptional terroirs and products with high added value. These two ways of meeting the region's specific needs allow farmers to reconcile productivity, environment, and a decent income, a value which is dear to Mycophyto. In a geopolitical context where food sovereignty has become a national priority, finding alternatives to chemical fertilizers whose raw materials come from abroad, is a necessity. These alternatives must also meet the challenges of climate change, especially regarding the management of long periods of drought.

In order to achieve those goals, Mycophyto needs to benefit from financial resources that will allow the company to invest in people by expanding the team, to invest in premises and equipment to produce on a larger scale, and to invest in commercial forces to help develop and adopt these innovations. "This fundraising campaign has been a major challenge for the company because we are currently in a key phase of our development," explains Justine Lipuma. "It is great that we have reached this stage, as it will help us implement our industrial strategy and prepare for the next step in our development."

The historical investors renewed their trust
All of the investors from 2019 decided to renew their commitment in order to continue to participate in the Mycophyto adventure, according to Justine Lipuma. "We are proud to see our historical investors renew their trust in this new stage of our development."

In 2022, Mycophyto welcomed many new investors. "There is a clear interest in our company and a remarkable willingness of investors, seemingly from all walks of life, to contribute to a project that makes sense and to create synergies. Our investors include experienced entrepreneurs and Business Angels who want to contribute to the development of our company, as well as to the success of a project with high added value," explains Justine Lipuma. "Our investors are themselves invested in projects. This will add a special tone to our discussions as we will be able to exchange between peers and join our rich and concrete views on our development prospects." The French banking group Crédit Agricole (Créazur) is also strengthening its presence with the addition of two new regional banks: Nouvelle Aquitaine and Charente-Périgord. These two regions represent strategic areas for the commercial development and production of Mycophyto.

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