Published on : May 29, 2018
In a bid to lay the foundation of a large biotech industry, India is venturing into deep science startups for diverse range of subjects that include medicine, energy, and agriculture.
Labelled as ATGC Biotech - the brainchild of Markandeya Gorantla and his colleagues, the seeds of the company were sown more than a decade ago. The business plan of Gorantla and his team was hard and unusual to develop pheromones – a kind of chemicals that can alter the behavior of insects. The study involved using pheromones to interfere with mating of insects, and provide farmers with a clean option for pest control.
Commercial Success of Indian Biotech Startup to Serve Large Global Market
Presently, pheromones is only sold by the Japanese firm Shinetsu. Its products can control only three pests and together they make for a US$1.2 billion global market. On the contrary, large seed companies such as Monsanto do not develop pheromones themselves, but only fund small companies for the same.
If ATGC becomes successful to develop commercial products, it would be serving a US$3-4 billion global market with very little competition. The Hyderabad-based company having existed for seven years claims to have developed 58 types of pheromones, some of which are presently undergoing field trials.
ATGC has so far received government grants of Rs 14 crore. It is about to sign up for its first commercial funding of US$ 16 million from two unrevealed agriculture companies. ATGC is also close to raise US$ 100 million for its American subsidiary.
Prior to this, ATGC went through a long gestation period. The main patents were developed in 2011 when the company was formally set up.