New Mexico-based EcoPesticides which is developing ‘green’ biologic pesticides with has announced the completion of its $400,000 Series A from the New Mexico Startup Factory, the New Mexico Angels; the University of New Mexico Co-Investment Fund, and a unnamed venture firm based in Nevada. The funds will advance EcoPesticides’ technology, support operations and secure research/development partners. The company has an exclusive global licensing agreement with the University of New Mexico.
Founded in 2012, EcoPesticides develops biologic-based pesticides and performance-enhancing microencapsulation coatings to stop defined pest species threatening crops without harm to people or the environment. According to their website, the “technology platform combines two components: naturally occurring fungi that have been “purpose built” to target specific insect species when ingested and robust biopolymer microencapsulation formulas that extend the effectiveness of the microbial pesticides.”
According to studies cited by EcoPesticides CEO and President Les Stewart, crop losses to insect pests run in the billions of dollars each year. A recent study estimates insect-related crop losses in Brazil of $17 billion annually. Recent crop losses in Africa totaled $2.5 billion due to desert locusts. EcoPesticides uses naturally occurring bacteria and fungi proven lethal to specifically targeted insect pests. The living biologic material is encapsulated in natural biopolymers as protection from UV rays and environmental conditions, thus extending the potency and performance of the product. EcoPesticides’ products are intended to do no harm to people, animals, beneficial insects such as honeybees, or the environment.
Stewart said closing the Series A round is well timed. ‘We are receiving tremendous national and global interest in our technology to enhance the performance of biopesticides and herbicides in a sustainable manner. Our trials in West Africa and Montana, which target desert locusts and grasshoppers respectively, are yielding promising results on our encapsulation technology. This funding allows us to accelerate our development efforts and enables us to focus our lab operations in Santa Fe on accelerated commercialization activities.’
The global crop protection market is $50 billion and is largely composed of chemical pesticides. However, growing concern among governments, corporations, and the population at large about harmful effects of toxic chemical pesticides is increasing interest in environmentally friendly, biologic-based alternatives. The microbial pesticide market is currently $2 billion and is estimated to reach $5 billion by 2020.
Founded in 2012, EcoPesticides International, Inc., develops novel, biologic-based pesticides and performance-enhancing microencapsulation coatings to stop defined pest species threatening crops without harm to people or the environment.
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