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AgriTech Spinout Receives £4m Investment for an Environmentally-Friendly Insecticide

£4m of financing has been procured by SOLASTA Bio, a University of Glasgow spinout, for a "ecologically safe" pesticide that will help defend harvests from harm due to bugs.

Instead of relying on artificial chemicals for insecticides, SOLASTA has opted for using small proteins made by neurons called neuropeptides. This "nature-inspired" approach can be tailored to target bugs without hurting pollinators, like bees.

R&D tests have been conducted and SOLASTA Bio is expecting its first product with a patent to be released in 2027. The company has created a platform that they believe can be used to manufacture insecticides suitable for any insect pest.

For the past year and a half, SOLASTA Bio's CEO, Shireen Davies PhD, has been working on their platform and having peptide candidates tested by authorities and business associates.

Our enthusiasm for the results has us feeling prepared to move forward with commercialising our innovation.

The Scottish startup is looking to bolster their staff with the hiring of more staff for both their technical and commercial divisions, bringing their total number of employees to fifty. They'll also be using the pre-Series A funding to expand their operations in both the UK and US.

Yield Lab Europe, the lead investor, was joined by Rubio Impact Ventures, Scottish Enterprise, Cavallo Ventures, SIS Ventures, UKI2S and individual angel investors in providing capital for the venture.

The organisation's overall financial backing has now reached an amount of £5.5m, which follows on from an earlier £1.3m investment.

According to Harry Howarth, who works as an investment manager at SIS Ventures, SOLASTA Bio is a commendable example of a business that effectively balances its objectives of people, planet, and profit.

The sector has a strong need for their environmentally-friendly insect repellants, which can be advantageous for shielding crops.


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