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AmphiStar BV secures €6m to expand production

Waste based biosurfactants producer Amphistar BV has closed a €6m funding round led by the  European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), Qbic III and Flanders Future Tech Fund (FFTF).

The infusion of €6m in new capital from ECBF, Qbic III and FFTF will empower AmphiStar to kickstart commercial biosurfactant production in collaboration with external partners. The investment will also be used to enhance R&D efforts to further refine and optimise its biosurfactant platform, complete the regulatory and certification dossiers and engineer its own state-of-the-art production facility. AmphiStar will raise more funding in 2025 for construction of the production facility and plans to hire 15 new employees within the year to bolster its expansion efforts.

More specifically, the new assets will allow the 2020 spin-out from University Ghent and BioBase Europe Pilot Plant to speed-up industrialisation of its microbially produced sophorolipid  and glycolipid biosurfactants, which are fully sourced from biobased waste- and side streams. To manage the accelerated transition, Pierre-Franck Valentin joined the team as CEO. As AmphiStar gears up for full commercial deployment, the company is laying the groundwork for future expansion with plans for the construction of a 1.000 tonnes per annum plant.

AmphiStars’ surfactants are part of a synbio platform technology and are not linked to fossil feedstocks, palm oil, direct land use or deforestation normally linked to production of shampoos, toothpastes, cosmetics, inks, paints, agrochemicals, food and feed and even construction materialin the 20 million per year surfactant market.

AmphiStar’s current biosurfactant technology platform is the result of over 10 years integrated strain and process development. It is mainly based on the highly productive yeast organism Starmerella bombicola (isolated from bumblebee honey), and enables us to produce over 25 specific variants of well characterised glycolipid biosurfactants. The technology has been demonstrated at 15m³ scale, generating high purity products for application tests. A first product based on AmphiStar’s biosurfactants was launched by Ecover last May.