In advance of closing our current fundraise for BioAtlantis Limited (BioAtlantis) and as interest in sustainability investing continues to gain momentum, we share some highlights on key milestones and sector insights.
Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland Corporate Finance (Cantor Fitzgerald) has a long track record in supporting Irish small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) through raising growth capital. For more than 20 years the team has been accelerating the transition to a low carbon future by providing funding solutions that demonstrate long term sustainable objectives. The team has raised more than €500 million in sustainable investment over the last 15 years.
BioAtlantis is the latest such example, as Cantor Fitzgerald has recently been engaged by the company to raise funding through the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS). A biotechnology company headquartered in Tralee, Co Kerry, BioAtlantis produces biostimulants to protect crops from abiotic stresses, resulting in yield increases for the grower. These are made primarily from seaweed extracts. BioAtlantis uses sustainable resources as its source of specific compounds. Materials are derived from renewable marine and terrestrial sources and include species of brown seaweeds, that are harvested sustainably along the west coast of Ireland.
The company is also in the process of developing solutions in the area of feed additives for pig and poultry health, in addition to human nutraceuticals targeting autoimmunity and metabolic diseases.
Established in 2004, and following the initial R&D phase, BioAtlantis began production in 2006, entering the biostimulant market in 2007 with its first plant strengthener product. In 2015 it commenced development of a purpose-built facility at its premises in Tralee. Following capital investment of €13.5 million, the production plant was commissioned in 2019. At the helm is CEO and Founder John T. O’Sullivan who, prior to establishing BioAtlantis, was Operations Manager over the (€150 million turnover) Proteins Division of Kerry Ingredients.
The company has grown steadily since inception and has developed a strong scientific base, with numerous papers published in conjunction with academic partners. BioAtlantis now has sales offices in key trading regions including the USA, Mexico, Brazil, China and India.
The plant biostimulant market consists of amino and humic acids, microbials and seaweed extracts. They are applied to crops by foliar or fertigation to strengthen the crop against abiotic stresses, increase fertiliser uptake and improve yield and quality. With a shift towards sustainability, there is also a move towards preventative treatments to strengthen the crop so that it is in a better position to defend itself against diseases. Consumer preference is also moving in the direction of organic produce, and this has been met with increased emphasis on organic agriculture by growers. These market changes have led to additional demand for alternative farming methods such as the application of biostimulants to help crops reach their genetic potential.
The global market for biostimulants is forecasted to experience significant growth over the next five years in line with the push towards sustainable agriculture practices. BioAtlantis will use the new capital raised to fund the expansion of its production facility in Tralee and to launch new products and enter new international markets ahead of the anticipated growth and market demand.
Alan Wall is Associate Director, Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland Corporate Finance.
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