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Dec 03 2021 · 3 minute read


If the mention of heavy metals brings to mind Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, you are sadly out of date.

Heavy metal contamination is widespread in soils as a result of mining, manufacturing and the use of synthetic products such as pesticides and paints. This accumulation, over and above naturally occurring nontoxic levels, has become a serious global environmental problem affecting plant growth; and the ultimate destination is our food.

To counter this problem, Microgen Biotech has developed a unique range of biologicals based on healthy bacteria that restore the soil’s natural microbiome, improving yields and reducing the uptake of heavy metals into plants. This reduces toxic heavy metals in our foods when applied to crops by farmers during the growing season. Field trials of scale have been done in China, where regulatory approvals have been secured. And the company plans to undertake further field trials in the US and Europe in 2022 in order to get regulatory approvals to get the products to market there.

Microgen Biotech is backed by The Yield Lab Europe, an accelerator in our portfolio which invests into early-stage technology companies that revolutionize agricultural and food systems to sustainably provide for the world. We were pleased to see Microgen’s female founder and CEO Dr. Xuemei Germaine amongst the finalists in the 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

If you have any thoughts on the article or would like to learn more about Snowball, please do be in touch on hello@snowball.im

Jake Levy, Investment Manager and Impact Lead at Snowball
Jake Levy, Investment Manager and Impact Lead at Snowball