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Startup Spotlight: Brazilian Biotech Startup Biosolvit Leverages Circular Economy Techniques As It Makes Its Way To The UAE Biosolvit is a Brazil-based biotechnology startup that uses "nature as a source of inspiration," and has engineered all its services to showcase some of the many benefits of the circular economy.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Guilhermo Queiroz, co-founder and CEO, Biosolvit

This article is part of an ongoing series covering startups that have been a part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) accelerator program.

By 2030, the adoption of circular economy models can yield economic benefits of up to US$4.5 trillion, according to a 2022 study by the World Economic Forum. But the same report also highlights that only a mere 8.6% of the global economy is circular. It is in this landscape that Brazil-based biotechnology startup Biosolvit makes an impression as a firm that uses "nature as a source of inspiration," and has engineered all its services to showcase some of the many benefits of the circular economy.

"Our business always has the same starting point: the development of new materials from renewable raw material sources," Guilhermo Queiroz, co-founder and CEO of Biosolvit, says. "We reuse discarded waste in other production processes, and generate value from this by manufacturing what we believe are ecologically correct products that contribute to the preservation of the environment. Our researchers use residues from the most diverse origins as raw material, and transform them into innovative products, promoting the concept of circular economy."

Launched in 2018 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, Biosolvit was conceptualized by Queiroz along with fellow co-founders Wagner Martins and Edson Fantini. Its offerings are demarcated into two main business verticals: BioBlue, which aims to industrialize products meant for the preservation of water (these include three product lines for oil absorption, and one for oil containment), and BioGreen, which is a completely sustainable gardening line of products, which include its 100% biodegradable pots known as Xaxim Pots, substrates, as well as soil.

"Both lines have very impressive solutions," Queiroz says. "BioBlue's most innovative product is a natural oil or derivatives absorber called BioBlue Natural Absorber. And according to the France-based international team of experts in accidental water pollution at Cedre Institute, it is the most efficient in the world." Queiroz goes on to explain that Biosolvit's BioBlue line of products cater to industries such as oil and gas, mining, as well as steel mills, but he especially highlights the BioBlue Natural Absorber's importance, given that oil spills are among the greatest risks involved in the oil and gas industry.

The BioBlue line aims to industrialize products meant for the preservation of water- these include three product lines for oil absorption and one for oil containment. Source: Biosolvit

While the great oil spills of Exxon Valdez (1989) and Gulf Coast (2010), and more recently the one in Mauritius (2020) and Orange County (2021), may have made headlines, a lot of recent studies have shown the prevalence of smaller oil spills that happen much often than most people are led to believe. As such, the relevance of Biosolvit's innovations cannot be understated. "BioBlue Natural Absorber has at least twice the absorption capacity than any competitor in the market, in addition to being at least twice as fast," Queiroz says. "Besides, our product is the only one that allows the reuse of up to 95% of the oily residues that are absorbed. And all this is without mentioning its origin- since it is a natural line, BioBlue Natural Absorber is made from reused organic waste from several crops in Brazil."

Meanwhile, with the BioGreen line of products, Biosolvit offers items that can be used by those blessed with the green thumb, or simply anyone interested in gardening more sustainably. "Analyzing the industry of palm fiber, we identified that only 3% of a given tree is used, while the other 97% is discarded- we thus reuse this biomass to create Xaxim Pots, a 100% ecological garden pot," Queiroz says. "It thus allows plant roots to be incorporated into their walls after their development. It is free of tannin [a class of biomolecules that have been found to disrupt iron absorption in plants], and has a high water and nutrient absorption rate."

Related: Startup Spotlight: Luxembourg-Headquartered Maana Electric Is Bringing Its Sustainable Solar Panel Producing Mobile Factories To The UAE

Edson Fantini, Angelo Guerra, Guilhermo Queiroz, and Wagner Florentino, co-founders, Biosolvit. Source: Biosolvit

But while BioBlue and BioGreen are two of Biosolvit's key verticals, Queiroz adds that there is a third area the company focuses on, and that is research and development (R&D). "The breadth of our business gives us a 'verticalization differential' that makes us very competitive in the markets in which we operate, and the search for innovation is in our company's DNA," he says. "We have the BioCollab platform where researchers from all around the world may submit their projects to be analyzed by our R&D team. If an idea or project gets approved, Biosolvit will connect the researcher with investors to start working on it. The main idea is to work on sustainable new solutions and products. So, Biosolvit depends on both innovation and minds!"

Of course, a business needs funds too- and while it was initially bootstrapped by its three co-founders, Biosolvit has since received funding from Brazilian bank Banco BMG, as well as Brazil-based family office GHT4 (previously known as MCLC4). "In terms of growth, we've been growing amazingly, even during the COVID-19 pandemic," Queiroz says. "In 2022, we achieved 27 times the revenue of 2019, all of 2020's revenue in just one month, and the entirety of 2021's revenue in six months."

With the confidence that stems from such growth, the Biosolvit team is now aiming to make its presence felt in the Middle East and Africa (MEA)- and joining the MBRIF program has been the first step in this new journey. "We joined the MBRIF program because of the market perspectives and connections it offers in the MEA," Queiroz adds. "This market is super important for our BioBlue line, and it's a market that has been growing so fast during the past years. We are still participating and getting ready with the help of the MBRIF, and until now, it has been an amazing program. It's helping us understand this market better, and to get an approach to possible partners and clients."

Although Biosolvit's services are not yet offered in the MEA, the startup is currently seeking business partners to work with as well as investment opportunities. "The main objective for Biosolvit now is to create its own operation in the region, and to better attend to the growing market," Queiroz concludes. "And as for the impact we expect, and hope to create, it would be the increase in Biosolvit's revenue, and the application of sustainable, innovative, and more efficient products to our future clients, and at the same time, helping them reduce costs."

Related: Startup Spotlight: Silicon Valley-Based Predictiv Is Bringing Its DNA Testing Expertise To The UAE

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is particularly keen on writing stories involving people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

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