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London Tech Week

French startup Toopi Organics raises €8.4M to turn human urine into crop biostimulants

Toopi Organics funding
Picture credits: Toopi Organics

A French biotech startup Toopi Organics develops plant biostimulants derived from the fermentation of human urine. In a recent development, the company has been awarded €8.4 million from EIC Accelerator, a European innovation programme for deeptech startups that backed Dronamics and Quandela

The funding comprises a €2.4 million non-dilutive grant and €6 million in equity to be invested in 2025.

In September this year, the company landed €16 million in funding to expand its urine collection network. 

With the fresh funds, Toopi Organics’ first move consists of launching 120 agronomic trials in 6 target member states, including Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Human urine to crop biostimulants

Founded in 2019 by Michael Roes and led by CEO Alexandra Carpentier, Toopi Organics specialises in using human urine for agriculture. 

Earlier this year, Toopi Organics launched its first product based on human urine fermentation in France and Belgium. It is an organic and low-carbon footprint plant biostimulant for the partial replacement of phosphate-based fertilisers.

Why human urine?

As per reports human waste is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium, the same elements in chemical crop inputs that are vital to crop yield. Some researchers have determined that human beings produce between 100 and 150 gallons of urine per year, enough to grow wheat for a year’s worth of bread.

Every year, 200 billion litres of urine are flushed away with over 6 trillion litres of drinking water in EU toilets. 

“We believe urine is the missing link to close the nutrient loop between consumers and farmers,” said Alexandra Carpentier, CEO of Toopi Organics. “Urine does not contain enough nutrients to feed plants, but it is an excellent medium to cultivate micro-organisms of agronomic interest. These micro-organisms can solubilize soil phosphorus, capture atmospheric nitrogen, or protect crops from drought stress. Upcycling urine is therefore beneficial on many levels: water preservation, fertilizer use and soil quality, as well as carbon footprint and crop productivity.”

Our first full-scale industrial site in France will be up and running in 2025, and a second one will follow in Belgium. With the support of the EIC, we can think bigger. We will explore the needs of both Northern and Southern European countries, test our product on local crops, begin exporting our products, and plan the construction of two additional factories in the EU. Everything will therefore be twice as big: the team, the number of farmers we serve, the volumes of urine to collect, and our impact in terms of water preservation and fertiliser-related CO2 emissions,” added Michael Roes, co-founder and President of Toopi Organics.

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