Strategic Alliances

Banco Santander takes 5% stake in Kimitec and MAAVi Innovation Center


15 years ago, our CEO, Félix García, had a vision: The way food is produced had to change. Today, things are happening thanks to us.

Banco Santander is now entering the biotech industry by investing in Kimitec through the Fondo Agro Smart. With this strategic agreement, they join us in our revolution to drive a transition from synthetic chemistry to nature-based products in the agricultural and agribusiness sectors.

“It’s a strategic deal for Santander. Not only are we entering the biotech industry; we’re [entering] alongside one of the scaleups with the greatest chances of becoming the most profitable unicorn in the years to come”. – António Simões CEO of Santander Spain.

Now that Europe is calling for a reduction in the use of synthetic chemicals, that supermarket chains want nothing but zero residue products, and that consumers are becoming more an more health-conscious and demanding in their purchases… our production model is due for a change. Kimitec and the MAAVi Innovation Center are here to provide us with a new, nature-inspired model that is both productive and profitable.

“At MAAVi Innovation Centre, we have a vision: changing the way food is produced. The current production model has met its end. In a moment marked by calls in the EU to cut synthetic chemicals, supermarket chains talking about zero waste, and more uncompromising consumers with growing concerns about health and sustainability, agribusiness is forced to transform. We were able to get ahead of this situation and, for over 15 years, [we’ve] been uncovering the power of nature to succeed in this challenge for a different, nature-inspired production model”. – says Félix García, CEO of Kimitec.

In fact, Kimitec and the MAAVi Innovation Centre have closed several deals with Bollo, GS España, Pescanova and other leading companies, as well as with such agrochemical giants as UPL, which made the MAAVi Innovation Centre a strategic partner in its transition to a natural production model. Kimitec is also the only company in its sector with 5 EU Horizon projects, given its strategic capacity to steer agribusiness from chemicals to natural production methods.

From agriculture the Spanish scaleup has leaped into aquafarming, livestock (antibiotic substitutes in animal medicine and higher productivity) and other sectors, while aiding agribusinesses transition from chemicals to natural techniques. Its long-term plans include entering cosmetics (substitutes for pigments and active ingredients) and pharmaceuticals (substitutes for active ingredients).

The MAAVi Innovation Centre creates value for agribusinesses in three major ways: eliminating waste in raw material production (removing chemicals traced to their products); helping them obtain E-number clean labels (for food additives); and raising the cost of subproducts that harm the environment and companies’ bottom line.

With Santander’s equity stake, Kimitec will benefit from the chance to expand internationally, building on the bank’s advice to attract new customers across different regions and sectors, such as the agribusiness.

In 15 years of testing the concept in agriculture, we’ve come to lead the transition from chemicals to natural [products]. Now is the time for us to move on to agribusiness to achieve our purpose: changing how food is produced. Our goal with this strategic agreement with Santander is to partner with each and everyone of its agribusiness customers” – highlights Félix García, CEO of Kimitec.

Under the agreement, the two groups will work together on social projects too. Kimitec’s not-for-profit organization, the MAAVi Foundation, believes diversity is a source of wealth for businesses and society in general. It builds on such values as respect, equality and loyalty to create opportunity for over 400 children and their families’ using sports, education, nutrition and job placement as their main vehicle.