Biotech start-up BugBiome secures investment for pioneering research in sustainable pest protection


  • BugBiome raises £310k in pre-seed investment from Cambridge Angels and Discovery Park Ventures
  • Investment enables a £330k Engineering Biology Grant from Innovate UK for cutting-edge agri-tech research leveraging the microbiome and engineering biology approaches.

BugBiome, a biotech harnessing nature’s microbial defences for pest protection to benefit human and planet health, has successfully closed a pre-seed funding round, securing £310k from Cambridge Angels and Discovery Park Ventures.

This investment will support BugBiome’s mission to address agricultural and human pest protection with naturally derived solutionsharnessing the microbiome as a sustainable source of alternatives to synthetic and bio-accumulative chemicals. It also provides matched funding for a £330k Engineering Biology Grant from Innovate UK, to identify new methods to control aphids in crop protection. The 12-month project aligns with BugBiome's focus for sustainable, insect control solutions that do not compromise biodiversity, including a pipeline of targets across human and agricultural pests.

Following the investment, Emma Palmer Foster of Discovery Park Ventures and James Thomas of Cambridge Angels join the Board as Investor Directors.

BugBiome recently completed the 2023 cohort of Accelerate@Babraham - the Babraham Research Campus’ pre-seed company support programme. Drawing on year on year experience and lessons learned, Accelerate@Babraham brings together a network of experts, mentors, and investors to equip early career science entrepreneurs with the skills, confidence, connections, and access to communal laboratories to start up, test and build their business propositions.

Dr Alicia Showering, co-founder and CEO of BugBiome, said: “We are delighted to announce a successful pre-seed funding round with the support of Cambridge Angels and Discovery Park Ventures. This investment enables our non-dilutive Innovate UK grant and will help us to advance our pipeline of innovative microbial solutions for pest protection, offering an effective alternative to chemicals. With this new funding, we are expanding our team, accelerating the development of our microbial products against pests.”

Dr Andy Richards, founder member of Cambridge Angels, added: “We have been impressed by the entrepreneurial acumen of the BugBiome team, who have achieved such a lot in a short time. The microbiome is increasingly being seen as a vitally important aspect of biological systems. The team at BugBiome have identified that the interaction between the microbiome on a surface, be that human skin or a plant surface, plays a vital role in the attraction of insects which can impact on human health and on the environment. We look forward to helping them on their journey to exploit these learnings.”

Emma Palmer Foster, Director, Discovery Park Ventures, said: “BugBiome's ground-breaking research addresses a critical aspect of the global focus on feeding the population sustainably and enhancing crop protection. Our investment in BugBiome makes it our tenth portfolio company and underscores the company's potential to make a significant and sustainable impact in the agricultural sector and human health."