This French biotech startup ropes in €21M to scale production of high-value biomolecules from non-food waste

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French biotech company Afyren has just secured €21 million in a funding round led by Sofinnova Partners and Valquest Partners. The startup specialises in microbiology and bio-processing technology.

Combining the previous investments by AFY Partners and Sofimac Régions, Afyren has managed to bring its total funding amount to more than €60 million.

Michael Krel, Principal at Sofinnova Partners stated, “We have been following Afyren for a long time, and we have been impressed with their achievements over the last 18 months. With this round of financing, Afyren now has the human and financial resources needed to industrialise its technology.”

Zero-waste approach

Afyren produces energetically and chemically viable biomolecules through direct valorisation of non-food biomass (wastes). The sustainable and eco-friendly procedure involves natural micro-organisms and bio-degradable fermentation residues.

The seven organic acids (acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, valeric acid, iso-valeric and caproic acid) produced by the startup cater a range of industries including chemical, pharmaceutical, wellness and cosmetics.  

Afyren CEO Nicolas Sordet articulated, “Today, we possess good pre-industrial phase technology that we have been working on for several years and that has enabled us to deliver test batches to our first customers.”

Alternative to petroleum and food-biomass

Afyren maintains a green chemistry approach by developing an innovative technology that produces highly-prolific compounds eliminating the use of petroleum and food-biomass.

Afyren co-founder Jérémy Pessiot said, “we are firmly committed to providing a first class environmental profile, particularly in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, and also competitiveness, enabling industrial customers to replace petroleum-based products with our natural building blocks.”

Afyren was founded in 2012 by Régis Nouaille and Jérémy Pessiot. With a team of 15 members, the startup operates at two sites nearby Lyon and Clermont-Ferrand. The fresh capital will enable Afyren to initiate its foremost commercial 1,000m3 fermentation plant with an annual 15,000 litres organic acids production capacity.

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