announced on Thursday it has increased its stake in San Jose based lab-grown leather company VitroLabs.
The AIM-listed investment firm announced that it participated in a $1 million SAFE (Simple Agreement For Future Equity) subscription into VitroLabs.
Agronomics said the subscription would increase its potential equity position from 3.79% to 6.15%, subject to converting at the valuation cap of US$ 25 million at the time of VitroLab's Series A.
Agronomics first invested $1.5 million into Vitrolabs in 17 October 2019, through a $1.5 million subscription.
Agronomics shares were trading flat on Thursday at 7.625p each
VitroLabs is a clean cellular-agriculture company creating slaughter-free, environmentally friendly leather.
It was founded by Ingvar Helgason and Dr Dusko Ilic in 2016. Dr. Ilic is an experienced stem cell biologist from King's College, London, with technical expertise in tissue engineering and stem cell biology.
"We continue to be impressed by the strong developments VitroLabs is making as the only company in the world to be using this technology to create real leather, without the requirements of raising animals and the issues surrounding animal welfare, sustainability and efficiency” said Richard Reed, Chairman of Agronomics.
He added: “We are excited for the next 12 months where we expect to see VitroLabs launch their first leather goods to the market."
Agronomics said it funded the investment with cash from its existing resources.
Ingvar Helgason, Founder and CEO of VitroLabs commented: "We are excited to continue working with the Agronomics team whose partnership has been invaluable as we continue developing our technology and platform.”
“There is a huge need for a source of real, sustainable leather and we're glad to have Agronomics' continued support as we solve this huge problem."
Agronomics makes investments in the fields of cellular agriculture and synthetic biology, with an emphasis on environmentally friendly alternatives to the traditional production of animal-derived products.
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CEO Simon Potter commenting on the loan note issuance said: “we have now secured a funding package with considerably less overall dilution to shareholder equity than most commentators expected would be required.”