Two new investors are to fund moa with a further £5 million extension to the company’s Series A funding round. Shanghai-based Bits x Bites and BGF, based in the UK and Ireland, have joined earlier investors bringing the total raised to around £12 million.
moa was spun-out from Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences in 2018. Its unique in vivo herbicide discovery platforms GALAXY, TARGET and SELECT are filling a pipeline of exciting new molecules now entering field testing.
Bits x Bites invests in early-stage start-ups with transformative technologies in Agriculture and Food. Of foremost interest are threats to the food system in China. Researchers at Hunan Agricultural University published a paper in 2019 reviewing the status of herbicide resistant weeds in China. They noted how the problem has escalated over the past decade and weeds with cross-resistance to multiple modes of action now pose a serious threat to Chinese agriculture. This is aggravated by the lack of new herbicides becoming available.
BGF has invested in nearly 400 businesses since 2011 in a wide range of sectors including Energy, Healthcare, Food & Drink and Life Sciences. The focus is on supporting growth in entrepreneurial companies.
moa CEO, Dr Virginia Corless said: "This further boost to funding will support the expansion and acceleration of our discovery programme, which will deliver new herbicides to benefit farmers worldwide."