Biotech company Arevo raises SEK 75 million

26.03.24
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Swedish biotech company Arevo AB has secured a SEK 35 million investment from investor Industrifonden. Existing owners Navigare Ventures, Fort Knox, Stora Enso and Kempestiftelserna have also injected a further SEK 40 million into the growing business. The capital will be used to scale up the company’s operations and its portfolio of 58 patents built on award-winning research into organic nitrogen uptake in plants by Arevo founder Professor Torgny Näsholm.

Arevo paved the way for expansion with the appointment of Niklas Åström as its new CEO in the autumn of 2023. With experience from his time as CEO of ÅLÖ AB, the company behind Quicke, Åström brings a potent blend of business and agricultural expertise to his current role as he oversees Arevo’s international growth.

“Backing from our established long-term investors for Arevo’s scaling journey empowers us to accelerate the dissemination of our technology and address urgent global needs. Our precision nutrition products not only mitigate nitrogen leakage but also enhance yields and revolutionize agriculture and horticulture practices currently under legislative and financial pressures”, remarked Niklas Åström.

Nitrogen is a critical nutrient for all forms of plant growth, which is why large amounts of mineral fertilizers containing nitrogen are used today. From an environmental perspective, however, mineral fertilizers have many environmental disadvantages, including a production process dependent on natural gas, nitrogen leakage that causes eutrophication, emissions of the difficult-to-degrade greenhouse gas nitrous oxide and reduced biodiversity.

Arevo’s precision nutrition stimulates a plant’s natural ability to utilize water and nutrients, resulting in stronger plants with an increased resistance to drought. Arevo products, which were originally developed for the forestry industry, have already been used to help grow several hundred million forest seedlings. The company’s technology has also been successfully tested on key crops around the world, such as soy, corn, sunflower, potatoes and tomatoes.

With the world’s population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the amount of food produced from agriculture needs to increase by 56%* in order to meet increased demand. As available agricultural land is likely to decrease in the future**, the amount of food per hectare must be maximized.

“Addressing the increasing demand for food to sustain our growing population, while simultaneously mitigating the adverse environmental effects of agriculture remains a pressing global challenge – one that is of paramount importance to policymakers and agricultural stakeholders alike. I am eagerly anticipating the broader utilization of Arevo’s products beyond the forestry sector. Arevo can be an enabler in the transition to more environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. It is a Swedish science-based company with immense potential”, stated Anna Haupt, an investor at Industrifonden.
Agriculture currently makes up 38% of the planet’s total land area and contributes approximately 25-30%*** of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. In Europe there is significant regulatory pressure to mitigate this impact, with initiatives such as The European Green Deal and Farm to Fork aiming to reduce nitrogen leakage by 50% and cut pesticide usage in half by 2030. Further environmental improvement measures are also anticipated.

“This investment marks the start of our international expansion into horticulture and agriculture. Our initial focus will be on Europe, where there is a critical need for scientifically proven climate innovations that benefit farmers”, concluded Arevo’s CEO Niklas Åström.