Three startups from the Bernard Magrez Incubator address climate and environmental issues, raising nearly 5 million euros

June 12, 2024 | Ecosystem

The Bernard Magrez incubator is today very proud to announce that 3 innovative startups meeting the climate and environmental challenges of the wine industry have raised nearly 5 million euros for their national and international development: Viti-Tunnel, Starfish Bioscience and W Platform.


Viti-Tunnel: pesticide-free solution for combating vine diseases raises 2 million euros

Farmers are faced with challenges that threaten the very survival of their businesses.

The first issue is the need to drastically reduce the use of pesticides in response to public health concerns and the resulting social, media and political pressure. Winegrowers are at the forefront of all these accusations. In France, vines occupy 3.7% of the country's Utilised Agricultural Area (730,000 Ha) and consume 20% of all phytosanitary products.

The other major challenge is to cope with the frequency of dramatic harvest losses due to disease, frost, hail or scald, which have accelerated in recent years due to extreme weather events caused by climate disruption. There is every reason to believe that these meteorological phenomena are set to continue and intensify. They are a source of instability and economic risk for winegrowers, often affecting several consecutive vintages.

Viti-Tunnel, an effective alternative to plant protection products

To meet these challenges, Viti-Tunnel has designed and developed a retractable tunnel that automatically shelters vine rows during rainfall and extreme weather events. By preventing the development of fungal vine diseases, which are responsible for the majority of phytosanitary treatments in viticulture, this ground-breaking innovation reduces the use of pesticides by over 90%, and its ingenious mechanism also protects against frost and hail.

Tried and tested over the past 5 years, the patented Viti-Tunnel innovation has proved to be :

  • Securing the harvest: Viti-Tunnel effectively protects vineyards from crop losses due to disease, frost and hail, two other major scourges in viticulture.
  • Phytosanitary product reduction: Viti-Tunnel protects vines against disease while reducing the use of phytosanitary products and sprayers by over 90%.

With this round of funding from Demeter via its VitiRev Innovation fund, Viti-Tunnel aims to launch its mass production plant, continue its industrialization work and expand commercially throughout France.


Starfish Bioscience raises €900,000 to regenerate soil microbiota

Founded in November 2023, the Bordeaux-based start-up supported by the Bernard Magrez incubator, specializing in the regeneration of soil microbiota, has just raised an impressive €900,000 from Seventure Partners. This will enable the startup to structure its activities and accelerate the development of its innovative solution.

The founder plans to create an atlas of soil bacteria to restore microbial diversity. The first application will focus on viticulture, contributing to plant health, soil fertility and resilience in the face of climate change.

A collaboration between Starfish Bioscience and Maison Bernard Magrez's Château La Tour Carnet is underway, with the aim of carrying out an inventory of the microbial communities present in the soils of different vineyard plots. Vine health measurements will be taken to link any phenotypic differences with variations in the functionality of these microbial communities.

As Château La Tour Carnet has been conducting research on vine adaptation to global warming for over 10 years, the collaboration will also focus on analyzing the impact of climate change on the structure of microbial communities in vineyard soils.


W Platform raises 2 million euros to help winegrowers capture and valorize their fermentative CO2

Worldwide, over 2 million tonnes of fermentative CO2 are produced every year. Today, almost 100% of this CO2 is released into the atmosphere, when it could be captured and reused. To ensure the success of their production, winegrowers and brewers are regularly forced to buy CO2 of fossil origin, in particular to inert their vats and protect the harvest.

Founded in 2021 in Bordeaux and supported by the Bernard Magrez incubator, W Platform has developed CO2 Winery solutions, enabling CO2 capture and reuse to be integrated into wineries. The company designs and markets capture networks positioned at tank outlets, enabling CO2 to be transported to a purification and compression unit, where it can be stored in the form of gas bottles and transformed into dry ice or carbon dioxide.

This innovative approach meets the CSR and climate challenges facing the wine industry, and offers winegrowers a complete solution for securing their CO2 supplies, with the option of re-injecting it into their production processes.

A €2 million round of financing from Demeter (VitiRev Innovation fund) was finalized to accelerate sales development and structure teams.


The importance of fund-raising

For a start-up, raising funds is a crucial step. It enables them to finance research and development, strengthen their teams, and roll out their solutions on a larger scale. It also gives investors confidence in the project's innovative potential and viability.

For the startups incubated at the Bernard Magrez incubator, these fund-raisings are the fruit of hard work and invaluable support from our ecosystem of experts and partners.

Our mission remains to support innovation in the world of wine by providing the resources needed to transform bold ideas into concrete solutions for a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly future.

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