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  • Raising Capital in Turbulent Times: 20 NDAs Signed During the Biomass Pitching Session

Raising Capital in Turbulent Times: 20 NDAs Signed During the Biomass Pitching Session

Mar 08 2022

Berytech organized the ‘Raising Capital During Turbulent Times’ webinar where the Biomass management team presented the opportunity for seed investors to invest in Biomass Holding SAL, a certified organic farming operator, with outcomes exceeding expectations, as 20 NDAs were signed by different private investors. 

The company, based out of Lebanon, is offering a Convertible Note investment opportunity for an amount of USD $3.5M, supported by the proposed growth plan and expansion strategy. 

The event was organized under the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) through The Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH) for which Berytech is leading the consortium. The MENA RIH supports innovators that work in the region and produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and other partners, the MENA RIH works to scale mid-to-late stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus. 

Established in 2007 as a family project, Biomass is a leading grower, aggregator processor, distributor, and exporter of certified organic food products, located in Lebanon. The company is committed to ethical and responsible farming methods, offering quality, healthy, tasty, and environmentally friendly consumer food products. 

Biomass is actively promoting organic projects in the MENA Region and looking to expand its export portfolio. 

In his presentation, Mario Massoud, CEO of Biomass, explained that new investment in production capacity will feed into Biomass’s export-led growth strategy, with overall sales expected to reach USD $12M by 2027. 

With that, Biomass is opening an investment opportunity to secure the amount of USD $3.5M in 2022, with total CAPEX investments to exceed USD $1.75M as a result of additional grant funding. The investment will be geared towards building production capacity, at the farming level and post-harvest and packaging level. 

“We believe that this will open the way for private investments in Lebanon’s most promising sector impacting employment, export, and growth potential. Organic and smart farming is at the cornerstone of Lebanon’s agri-food development and we are very excited about all the focus, structural changes, and initiatives that are currently taking place,” commented Massoud. 

Constantin Salameh, Head of Investments WE4F MENA, explained how Biomass started the WE4F program 10 months ago and worked with the Berytech team to overcome challenges in restructuring the balance sheet, improving board effectiveness, developing a comprehensive financial model, creating a risk management framework and closing a funding gap of USD $4M.

Dr. Nasser Saidi was also present and commented on the importance of funding innovative social enterprises in Lebanon as the foundation for the new economic order in the country. Dr. Saidi will be chairing the Special Purpose Vehicle that will be funding Biomass.

WE4F MENA RIH selects between 15 to 20 companies annually through a very intensive process that looks at the scalability potential, innovation potential and impact of companies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, The Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Sudan, and Yemen.

The Lebanon portfolio includes 5 innovators including Biomass, Robinson Agri – provides optimized irrigation systems for the Lebanese farming community, Compost Baladi – produces and distributes compost, manufactures and supplies compost production equipment, Go Baladi – provides conventional organic goat dairy products, and GreenEssence – provides Solar PV solutions in Lebanon.

Through the WE4F program, innovators benefit from grants, investment readiness and facilitation support, technical assistance, and access to networks. Meanwhile, investors benefit from a pool of scalable and investment-ready & credit-worthy enterprises in WE4F, reduced pre-investment costs, provision of de-risking mechanisms and technical assistance services. 

“We do a similar work with all companies in the program and have helped them raise more than USD $6M over the past 9 months with the aim of raising more than USD $30M to USD $40M over the next 3 years,” explains Salameh.

Biomass is still open to receiving offers from investors who were unable to attend the event. Interested financiers can ask for the company’s investment teaser and additional information, by reaching out to Joelle Barhoun (joelle.barhoun@berytech.org), Investment Analyst at Berytech.

Berytech is leading the consortium for the MENA Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH) – Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F). WE4F is a joint international initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the U.S.Agency for International Development (USAID).

Source: Berytech