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Oxford firm close £35million funding round

28 June 2022
RSSL’s new pharmaceutical microbiology laboratory recently opened in Wokingham

A crop protection company, spun out from Oxford University, moa Technology Ltd, has just closed a £35million funding round.

The funding will be used to develop safe and sustainable herbicides in order to increase crop yields.

The corporate team at Penningtons Manches Cooper advised the agricultural start up on the completion of their £35 million ($44 million) Series B financing round.

The international firm Penningtons Manches Cooper have offices in Oxford, Guildford, Basingstoke and Reading. The legal company also recently advised both Bramble Energy on their Series B fundraising and First Light Fusion, who recently achieved a world first fusion result, on their Series C fundraising.

Read more - Hydrogen fuel cell stack maker secures £35m investment

Moa's proprietary technology uses miniaturized plants to discover new ways to control resistant weeds. Any advances would be applicable worldwide.

Its three proprietary platforms, GALAXY, TARGET, and SELECT, uniquely utilise miniaturized living plants in combination with cutting-edge techniques in genetics, phenotypic analysis and data analytics to rapidly screen hundreds of thousands of natural and synthetic chemistries to find those that work differently.

This investment was co-led by new investor Lansdowne Partners and existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises and Parkwalk Advisors, with participation from existing investors BGF Investments, Bits x Bites Growth Fund, IP Group and University of Oxford.

Parkwalk have invested £400million in 150 emerging tech companies.

Oxford Science Enterprises have a stake in all spin outs from the University.

The Penningtons Manches Cooper team advising moa was led by corporate partner James Went with corporate associate Leo Shrimpton, and included support from corporate tax partner Kathy Hills and associate Leonie Langley.

Dr Virginia Corless, Chief Executive Officer for moa said “This funding will enable us to accelerate the development of the most promising leads in our abundant pipeline. It will assist delivery of novel, safe and sustainable products necessary for us all, farmers, consumers, anyone with an interest in the food we grow and eat to be able to count on a safe, reliable, and resilient agricultural industry for the future.

"We’re grateful to James Went and the Penningtons Manches Cooper team for their help in making it all happen.”

James Went, corporate partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper said: “We are delighted to have advised moa on their Series B financing.

"They’re addressing one of the truly hard challenges of today in developing safe and sustainable herbicides to support farmers producing food for the growing global population. We look forward to continuing to support them on their journey.”

Read more - First Light Fusion raises £33m in funding

Stephen Emerson is the Managing Editor of The Business Magazine and is responsible for the publication's print publications and online properties including the newly launched Biz News websites in Hampshire and Dorset.

Stephen has been a journalist for 20 years and has worked at local, regional and national publications and led a team which made The Scotsman website one of the fastest growing news sites in the UK with over eight million monthly users.

He has a keen interest in technology, property and corporate finance and telling the stories of the people behind the successful firms in these sectors.

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