BASF invests in biotechnology start-up Bota Bio
- Bota Bio’s next-generation industrial biology platform is a combination of computation and cutting-edge biotechnology
- Interdisciplinary team programs biological systems for clean and efficient bio-manufacturing.
Hangzhou, China, and Ludwigshafen, Germany, March 16, 2021 – BASF Venture Capital (BVC) has invested in Bota Biosciences, Ltd. (Bota Bio), an industrial synthetic biotech company based in Hangzhou, China. Bota Bio, founded in 2019, is developing a proprietary next-generation biotechnology platform which enables sustainable and economical production of high value products for a broad array of industrial applications. Examples are sweeteners, vitamins, personal care or crop protection products.
Industrial biotechnology or “white biotechnology”, uses living cells and enzymes to develop and manufacture products efficiently. Also, it can upgrade cells, enzymes and processes easily and therefore has the flexibility to adjust its capacity and volume to meet the market demands. Moreover, it expands market opportunities for products not accessible using conventional manufacturing processes. Computation is the core and foundation of Bota Bio’s next-generation bio-foundry to build and evolve enzyme, strain and process pipelines. It quickly identifies and characterizes suitable microbial hosts, shuffles and combines desired phenotypes to create new industrial strains, and furthermore develops and improves manufacturing processes starting from green raw materials, such as sugar.
Joining forces to bring sustainably produced ingredients to market
Bota Bio’s interdisciplinary team – including biologists, chemists, engineers and industry veterans – has a strong track record in successful development and commercialization of products and plans to continue bringing valuable and innovative products to the market. Bota Bio’s innovative fermentation process is scalable making commercial production possible.
BASF itself uses fermentation and biocatalysis to manufacture products such as vitamins and enzymes and is working on processes that use white biotechnology for the production of chemical building blocks from renewable raw materials such as sugar and plant oils. The two strong partners are looking forward to explore possible synergies. “The founding members of Bota Bio have a wealth of experience in the fields of biotechnology and chemistry as well as in starting companies,” said Markus Solibieda, BVC’s Managing Director. He added: “Bota Bio’s highly innovative platform enables the acceleration of product development and contributes to sustainable and economical production. It has the potential to shape progress for the future of the chemical industry. With our investment in this promising young company, we are strengthening BASF’s activities related to sustainability and enhancing the group’s potential for innovation in the dynamic Asian markets.”
Bota Bio will use this investment to expand its development and production capabilities. “In BASF, we have a strong industry partner by our side whose strengths optimally complement our own. We welcome this support in scaling up our processes and launching new products,” said Cheryl Cui, Ph.D., CEO of Bota Bio.
About Bota Bio
Bota Bio is an industrial synthetic biotechnology company with a vision to program biological systems for clean and efficient bio-manufacturing of common household and industrial products. Bota Bio is led by experienced multidisciplinary industry veterans who are combining data and automation in order to translate advanced biotechnologies into business value and consumer welfare.
Further information at www.bota.bio
About BASF Venture Capital
BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC) was founded in 2001 and has offices in Europe, the U.S., China, India, Brazil, and Israel. The aim of BVC is to generate new growth potential for BASF by investing in new companies and funds. The focus of investment is on chemical products and new materials, software and services as well as innovative and digital business models in the broader field of chemistry. Further information at www.basf-vc.com.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.