Weedingtech, a world leader in herbicide-free weed and moss control, has received a £3m investment from private equity fund manager and EIS/VCT specialist Calculus Capital.
Weedingtech, which was co-founded by environmental campaigner and entrepreneur Ben Goldsmith, develops products which replace toxic herbicides, and has won a number of awards for sustainable innovation.
The company’s main product is a patented weed-control technology called Foamstream. It uses hot water and an organic foam; the foam acts as a thermal blanket that keeps the heat applied long enough to kill the weed, or moss. The biodegradable foam is made from plant oils and sugars. This destroys weeds in a targeted way without damaging other plant life, or human health, and it can be applied in all weather conditions.
The product is currently in use in the UK, France, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Canada.
Recent research suggests that the herbicide market is estimated to grow at 6% a year to reach $31bn by 2020. Glyphosate accounts for around three quarters of the total. The potential for herbicide-free alternatives to increase their share exists, as concerns around glyphosates grow.
Calculus Capital’s Chief Executive John Glencross said: “There is growing momentum behind moves to ban glyphosate in Europe and around the world, because of the risks to human health and the environment. The licence granted by the EU for the use of glyphosate in Europe was due to expire in June 2016 but was extended until the end of this year. In the meantime, a number of European and other countries have banned or strictly limited the use of glyphosate, particularly in public places and immediately pre-harvest.
“Politicians, industry and consumers are already waking up to the benefits of alternative, more environmentally and human-health-friendly weed and moss control alternatives such as Weedingtech’s Foamstream.
“A ban would put a rocket under Weedingtech’s growth trajectory, but even without one, the business has great investment potential and is already a world leader in glyphosate-free weed and moss control technology with growing revenues and increasing market share.”
Investment Director at Calculus Capital Alexander Crawford: said “The team at Weedingtech have a strong product in a growing sector and have achieved good results over the last few years – we are delighted to support them as they begin to scale up the business.”
Chief Executive of Weedingtech Leo de Montaignac said: “Calculus Capital’s investment is an endorsement of Weedingtech’s continued growth potential, as we reach new markets, increase our share in existing ones and develop new herbicide-free weed-control technologies.
“The expertise of the Calculus team in advising and guiding growing companies such as our own will also be extremely valuable to us.”