Regenerate Ventures leads Series A round of £4.5m into BigSiS
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Regenerate Ventures has the led the Series A round of £4.5m into BigSis, a company helping growers to stop their chemical insecticide spraying through novel ‘sterile insect technique’ (SIT) technology. Their first target is the common fruit fly (Spotted wing Drosophila- SWD) but have a pipeline of insect targets such as the codling moth that affects pome fruits, European grape moth, and the olive fruit fly.
How are they doing this?
BigSis has reinvented ‘SIT’ by automating the individualised production of sterile male insects. This requires integrating biology, engineering, and artificial intelligence capabilities to deliver a highly automated production process. BigSis operational systems will be implemented in micro-production units located close to grower customers to deliver an efficient and cost-effective service on-farm.
Who are BigSis?
Founded in 2017 by Glen Slade. Glen is a computer scientist by background but has dedicated his career to studying the Sterile Insect Technique. Having previously worked in SIT but using genetic modification, Glen realised the constraints of that technology and took his industry knowledge and setup BigSis. BigSis’ technology has reduced the current cost of SIT by up to 90%.
Why do we love them?
BigSis has two key outstanding features compared to current competitors. There is no regulatory approval needed for this technology as all insects are from local areas and no GM, so no effect on the local eco-system. Secondly, any new insect R&D is quick to trial and commercialise and can be done from the same production units.
This technology will be a real step change in the fight to reduce chemical insecticides in the grown produce industry as well as reducing crop loss. Not only will the reduction in chemicals help to reduce carbon emissions but more importantly it will stop the decimation of the local biodiversity.
For more information about BigSis, click here.