Bixa orellana L., a plant from the Amazon biome used in Ages Bioactive’s bioactive compounds

Ages Bioactive, which develops and sells highly functional natural bioactive compounds from the Amazon biome, is the first portfolio company of the Forest and Climate Fund, created by venture capital firm KPTL. The fund is investing in more than 100 tech startups that are benefiting the environment and communities. In 2021, Fundo Vale selected KPTL to launch and manage this fund. It is now a strategic partner of KPTL.

The company has a solid scientific and technological base to develop products focused on longevity and “healthspan” (the part of a person’s life during which they are generally in good health). It is currently developing seven new products in three areas: mobility, metabolic syndromes and cellular performance. In addition, it has begun an international development process and it will expand its team from 46 to 60 employees in the next 90 days.

It is already marketing two products. One of them is Chronic, a natural plant extract that acts on the musculoskeletal system to prevent and modulate problems such as bone loss, osteoporosis, arthritis, arthrosis, muscle aches, sarcopenia and bone fragility. The other is Ormona, a bioactive complex that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and affects female hormonal modulation, contributing to ovarian health and mitochondrial performance.

Both products incorporate “Evolve” technology, patented by the company, which increases the bioavailability of bioactive compounds. This is very important when it comes to natural products. They can be purchased at compounding pharmacies and they must be recommended by doctors and nutritionists, the startup’s target audience.

Ages Bioactive to receive R$3 million in its first investment round, and total may grow to R$8 million in next two years

Founded in 2020, the company will receive R$3 million in its first funding round, and over the next two years it may receive as much as R$8 million. This money will help Ages Bioactive grow its product development pipeline, expand its research team and start new clinical trials.

The company’s co-founder and scientific director of R&D, Professor José Carlos Tavares, is a specialist in the Amazon biome with over 30 years of experience in pharmaceuticals. He is a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Pharmacy.

Reforestation bottlenecks

KPTL’s initiative is the first of its kind in the Brazilian venture capital sector. The intention is to invest up to R$200 million in dozens of startups that present innovative solutions to unlock bottlenecks on the reforestation agenda over the next five years.

The fund manager believes that Brazil could become a global leader in innovations for sustainability, as it has a very favorable ecosystem for this type of development. For this to be achieved, however, it is essential to promote new technologies, such as those of Ages Bioactive, through initiatives like the Forest and Climate Fund, which seeks to help improve the competitiveness of businesses linked to forests and climate.

When choosing Ages Bioactive, as well as taking an operational look at the business, KPTL evaluated its intentions and potential impacts in several dimensions, especially in the production chain, which contains family farmers, extractive workers and cutting-edge research applied to the bioeconomy. Thus, the fund will help entrepreneurs to grow more robustly and responsibly.

Fabio Steinecke, Caio Agmont and Alejandro Espinola, partners at Ages Bioactive, which produces highly functional natural bioactive compounds from the Amazon biome (Credit: Felipe Rau)

The fund will continue to look for other startups at different stages of development, in four broad areas: forests, carbon, the bioeconomy and the regenerative economy. The chosen startups may range from fintechs that are developing carbon credit solutions to agtechs that work with genetic improvement and traceability, biofertilizers and precision agriculture.

The KPTL team is mapping investment opportunities in partnership with innovation hubs, universities and angel investors across the country. In addition to KPTL, accelerator Troposlab, the Institute for Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (Imaflora) and ESG consulting firm Resulante will work on structuring the fund. KPTL’s Forest and Climate Fund has an expected lifespan of 10 years and it may be extended for a further two years.