The Spanish company Nostoc Biotech, based in the La Redonda Industrial Estate in El Ejido, has closed a round of investment of $1.78 million (€1.5 million). The company, which manufactures and markets organic products for agriculture and gardening, will use these new resources to increase its production capacity and accelerate its expansion plans, including the construction of new facilities on the La Algaida industrial estate in Roquetas.
The round has been led by the Social Stock Exchange Fund, the social impact fund promoted by the Social Stock Exchange and the Afi management company at the end of 2019. For this operation, the Social Stock Exchange Fund has counted on the co-investment of the CDTI, belonging to the Ministry of Science and Innovation, through the Innvierte program, with which the CDTI supports and facilitates the capitalization of Spanish technology companies.
The French fund Investir et Plus and Equity4Good, the investment vehicle of the Ship2b Foundation, also participated in the round, and was advised by the Youandlaw firm. All the investors are social impact funds, which invest in companies that produce a positive and measurable impact on society and the environment, while generating profitability.
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“Nostoc has developed a range of innovative products for agriculture, based on micro-organisms and respectful of the environment, which have proven to be extraordinarily effective. They have been able to identify the needs of the growing number of farmers who are committed to meeting the growing demand for organic food in the European market,” said Jose Moncada, Director of the Social Stock Exchange Fund.
In 2015, Nostoc closed the first round of investment worth $296,000 (€250,000) through the Social Exchange’s participatory investment platform. Since then, the company has been growing in its range of products and market.
As far as Nostoc’s social impact is concerned, the Social Stock Exchange estimates that, thanks to its products, the application of 38,000 liters of chemicals in agriculture and the emission of 265 kg of nitrous oxide (N2O, 298 times more harmful than CO2) have been avoided in 2019 alone.
Founded in 2014 by Enrique Cat and Guillermo Herrero, Nostoc’s objective is to transform conventional agriculture, which is overloaded with chemicals, into a more sustainable activity by offering fertilization and protection solutions based on worm humus and a range of microbiological products derived from it.
Worm humus, whose properties as an organic amendment have been known since antiquity and fascinated such important historical figures as Darwin or Aristotle, solves many of the challenges posed by the transition to chemical-free agriculture. Guillermo Herrero stated that “there is not yet a sufficiently reliable humus supplier on the market to meet the growing demand with the required product quality and stability.”
Guillermo Herrero, a co-founder of Nostoc, affirmed that the planned investment seeks to “substantially improve the manufacturing processes of earthworm humus, making them more and more reliable.”
Enrique Cat, the other co-founder, explained that the humus microorganisms are the central axis of Nostoc’s proposal “because they come to reinforce the natural immunological barrier of plants: One of the latest discoveries in plant physiology and ecology lies in the description of complex microorganism-soil-plant-pathogen interactions. Science teaches us that the delicate ecosystem that lives around the plant is key in activating and signaling the immune response.”
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First published in La Voz de Almeria, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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