Inveready enters biotech Agrasys after leading an increase of capital
Inveready has invested 500,000 euros in the biotech Agrasys, based at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona, through its capital fund Inveready Invierte Biotech II. With this contribution, the venture capital investment group has become owner of a stake of the company, of which Uninvest, a management company, is also part of, after having joined the group in 2008, and which, on this occasion, has materialized its support -through its R & D Unifondo fund- entering the venture jointly with the development partners involved in the increase of capital.
“The investment in Agrasys represents an opportunity in the field of functional food with Tritordeum, a product that competes in a premium market niche and has clear competitive advantages due to its low indigestible gluten protein content and its high lutein content”, says Sara Secall, director of Investment Inveready.
The entry of funds provided to Agrasys, besides increasing the human capital of the company, will accelerate growth in Spain and Italy as well as will strengthen the international expansion strategy of its main product: Tritordeum, the first manmade cereal for human consumption that has already managed to win a noticeable segment in the food sector.
Agrasys currently focuses its activity on this project, which it launched to the market only a year and a half ago and which is now already bringing in 95% of the revenue. The company has other ongoing research projects to improve plant biomass and forage.
“Tritordeum has achieved a good reputation among consumers not only for its fantastic properties but also thanks to the enthusiasm of the team and the support of the Spanish companies that have opted for such an innovative cereal product. Now, this new investment will gives impetus to consolidate the product in the market and to continue to grow in other countries within and outside Europe”, points out Pilar Barceló, CEO and founding partner of Agrasys.
Tritordeum, a combination of natural wild barley and durum wheat with beneficial properties for health, was developed by researchers of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The product has been widely accepted by the public in just a year and a half. After its launch, more than 400 outlets or points of sale, from craft bakeries to supermarkets in Spain and Italy, have added to their offer a wide variety of food products (bread, muffins, cookies, pasta beer, etc.) made with the flour from this new natural cereal. Also throughout 2014, national manufacturers have opted for the preparation of bakery products and frozen pastries.
For the 2014/2015 campaign, different producers are growing crops in a total of 1,300 hectares in Spain and Italy through conventional and organic production systems. Currently, five Spanish flour companies are already selling this cereal and a number of international grinding companies have shown interest.
Quite an achievement for such a novel cereal.