Home » NetZeroNitrogen (NZN) Biotech raises $1.6m Pre-seed to Develop Alternative to Synthetic Nitrogen Fertiliser (SNF)

NetZeroNitrogen (NZN) Biotech raises $1.6m Pre-seed to Develop Alternative to Synthetic Nitrogen Fertiliser (SNF)

by Sybil Fekurumoh

In the News

  • NetZeroNitrogen (NZN) has raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed led by Revent and Zero Carbon Capital
  • The funding will help develop an alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilisers and reduce CO2 emissions

The Story

NetZeroNitrogen (NZN), a UK-based biotech startup, has raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed round to develop a disruptive alternative for synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. 

The pre-seed round was led by German VC, Revent and UK-based deep-tech climate investor, Zero Carbon Capital. In addition, the startup received support from an Asian, climate-focused, strategic investor and a group of angels including experienced biotech CEO Tony de Fougerolles, of Evox Therapeutics (and ex CSO of Moderna). NZN also won  a non-dilutive Transforming Technologies grant from Innovate UK. 

NZN biotech are developers of a highly effective alternative source of nitrogen for crops and plants, and are on a mission to eliminate greenhouse gases from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer (SNF). It is estimated that SNF contributes 1bn tonnes of CO2e annually. 

Read also: Belgian Aphea.Bio Secures €70M in Series C Funding to Expand Market Reach

In May 2022, NZN commenced laboratory research on the development of a natural alternative to SNF. NZN’s approach stands out in a number of ways; NZN is developing a replacement, not just an additive, for SNF, with no ‘green premium.’ The product also will be significantly discounted, compared to SNF. The technology will not be applied to the field but attached directly in the form of a seed coating, where its bacteria will colonise the host plant, allowing the plant to fix nitrogen directly from the atmosphere.

Rebecca Brill, Investment Manager of Revent said of NZN’s technology, “This technology has the potential to be as (if not more!) impactful than the Haber-Bosch process over a century ago, and we could not be more pleased to be working with this incredible team.” Revent focuses on companies developing defensible, highly-scalable technology.

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Pippa Gawley of Zero Carbon Capital also spoke on the combination of the science and the NZN team: “We’re very excited about the potential of NZN’s bacteria-based alternative to reduce the damage caused by fertilizer, giving crops nutrients more efficiently and effectively in harmony with nature…” Gawley further shared that the NZC team have the right combination of scientific expertise and business leadership to revolutionise global agriculture.

The success of the funding round was further amplified by the recent award of a Transforming Technologies grant by Innovate UK, which will assist NZN in accelerating research on relevant fermentation technology.

Read also: Nigerian Agritech Startup, ePoultry, Selected for Baobab Network Cohort 1’2023

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