M2i Life Sciences raises 60 mln euros

M2i Life Sciences raised 60 million euros ($65.6 million) in funding led by ADM Capital Europe. M2i produces pheromones to that aim to sustainably and economically replace chemical pesticides in agriculture, parks and gardens. ADM Capital will have a minority of M2i.


ADM Capital leads EUR 60m funding round into M2i Life Sciences, a leader in biological crop protection

London, UK: ADM Capital Europe, the London-based private equity firm, is pleased to announce that the Cibus Fund (“Cibus”) has led a successful EUR 60m funding round for M2i Life Sciences (“M2i”), acquiring a minority stake in the European leader and one of the few global players in the pheromone market.

M2i produces pheromones to effectively, sustainably and economically replace chemical pesticides in agriculture, parks and gardens. Pheromones are naturally produced chemical substances released by animals, especially prevalent in insects, affecting the behaviour of other animals within the same species. Reproduced in laboratories using biomimicry, these pheromones can be applied to crops thereby controlling invasive insects and replacing conventional, often toxic, synthetic pesticides.

Leveraging its knowledge and experience of fine chemistry, M2i research, produce, formulate and distribute a large suite of pheromone products. These refined pheromones are known to biologically protect against the most common pests, for example, in specialised crops such as apple trees, vineyards, tomatoes, banana trees and in broad acre crops such as corn and cotton. M2i also manufactures specialist products for gardens, parks and forests, protecting box trees, palm trees and pine trees from invasive insects. The company currently sells more than 60 products across 25 countries.

This capital increase will enable M2i to strengthen its equity base and develop its growth strategy by broadening its product range and extending its international presence, confirming its position as the global leader in biocontrol.

The Cibus Fund embraces a unique agribusiness strategy, investing in sustainable companies positioned to disrupt traditional practices. M2i’s pheromones are highly targeted at specific pests and harmless to the existing biodiversity, thereby presenting a promising solution to the challenges of producing food in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. With an annual market growth of 24% (source: IBMA France, July 2019), supported by strong societal expectations from consumers, producers and regulators alike, M2i is well-positioned to take advantage of these significant growth opportunities.

The funding round included Téthys Invest, Créadev and France 2i Fondation de France’s fund managed by RAISE Impact, as well as an existing investor, Eurazeo Growth.

Commenting, Robert Appleby, Co-founder and Joint Chief Investment Officer at ADM Capital said: “There are 70% fewer synthetic chemicals in the farmer’s tool box than there were 10 years ago. With increased regulation, especially in Europe, we are likely to have 70% less in three years’ time. Pheromones represent an effective substitution in a world drowning in chemicals. M2i has an excellent management team and a track record of innovation, making it one of the world’s category champions in this fast-growing sector. This investment reinforces our long-term commitment to the future of sustainable global agriculture”.

Alastair Cooper, Head of Venture Capital at the Cibus Fund, ADM Capital said: “Pheromone use as an alternative to traditional chemicals has large growth potential driven by market and regulatory forces. The plant protection market is currently USD 26bn of which pheromones will represent 30% by 2030 (source: IBMA France, July 2019). M2i’s competitive advantage resides demonstrably in its expertise, innovation and agility with an impressive team, good creative track record and robust efficacy of its products.”

Philippe Guerret, CEO of M2i Life Sciences, said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome such high calibre new partners into M2i’s investor base. This EUR 60m transaction, led by ADM Capital, is a key step in our development. We now have all the necessary tools to position ourselves as a world leader in the biological protection of plants and crops.”