CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia – AgroSpheres announces the successful close of an oversubscribed seed round of $750,000 from local and international angel investors. AgroSpheres is a biotechnology company developing novel nanotechnologies aiming to set a new standard for bio-based delivery of active ingredients. The funding will be used to broaden utility of the platform, build a strong intellectual property portfolio, and outfit the company’s facilities.
AgroSpheres has made significant breakthroughs in the effective and precise delivery of high-value biomolecules and chemicals to a wide range of intended targets. Using next-generation bioengineering and industrial fermentation allow AgroSpheres to out scale competitors at a lower cost.
The platform’s focal point is a nanoscale bioparticle created from environmentally friendly microbes that can be functionalized by immobilizing and/or encapsulating active ingredients. Although the applicability of the platform is extremely versatile, the company is focused on developing their technology to innovate the fields of agriculture and industrial enzymes.
“We are excited to be developing our technology for precision agriculture applications - we want to help farmers maximize their yields while minimizing their exposure to dangerous chemicals and the off-target exposure of agrochemicals to the environment,” said Payam Pourtaheri, Co-Founder.
Ameer Shakeel, Co-Founder, said, “It is opportune timing for us to be making a cost-effective delivery vehicle for enzymes. We see growing value in using industrial enzymes as environmentally friendly, efficient alternatives to synthetic chemicals in various manufacturing industries.”
Prior to this round of funding, the company was funded by $174,000 from grants and awards from competitions, most notably Thought for Food, The Collegiate Inventor’s Competition, VentureWell, and the Virginia Wine Board. The company continues to receive strong support from the Charlottesville community and the University of Virginia, including the iLab incubator program.
“The founders of AgroSpheres have created a groundbreaking nano-delivery technology by working across disciplines and leveraging multiple departments at the University of Virginia. The AgroSpheres Interdisciplinary Model has set a new standard for translational research and development,” said Dr. Mark Kester, Co-Founder.