November 30, 2022

1 billion square meters decontaminated with the Biomede impact unicorn

1 billion square meters decontaminated with the Biomede impact unicorn

At the Universités de l'Economie de Demain in Lyon, 3 future impact unicorns were revealed: 3 companies from Auvergne Rhône Alpes spearheading the economy of tomorrow. The Tech for Good France community's goal is to help impactful unicorns emerge throughout France. This approach is accompanied by a vast study conducted with BCG to identify and accelerate these impact unicorns.

Discover the portrait and testimonial of Patricia Gifu, founder and director of Biomede.

What does Biomede do?

Biomede is a Lyon-based startup specializing in the decontamination of agricultural soils by heavy metals. We have developed the first scalable natural decontamination solution that recovers heavy metals in the form of trace elements needed by the pharmaceutical industry through the use of hyperaccumulative plants that are also used as biomass.  

We are the first to have turned this known process into a commercialized large-scale solution: we are developing a new sector that is part of the circular economy!

We also have another activity of soil mapping on which our R&D allows us to know the heavy metal content of a plot of land in a few minutes: a major innovation!

What is your impact?

Our main impact indicator is the surface area that we decontaminate. This is the indicator on which we set our annual objectives and which defines our development trajectory. It is also the most relevant indicator because its growth is necessarily accompanied by an increase in our impact on the following issues

agricultural yields, quantity of heavy metals extracted from the soil, quantity of heavy metals not extracted  

We have also thought our core business to be as virtuous as possible, the varieties of plants we use are local, adapted to the climate and do not represent an over-need in watering for example.  


It is the heart of our business! Paradoxically, we are proud to develop a new economic sector, to create a new activity, which goes against the notion of sobriety. This new sector allows us to support economic and industrial activity by making its impact on soil quality visible. It allows this classic economic fabric to look for innovative solutions for a more sustainable activity and respectful of its physical environment.  

While we hear a lot of talk about reindustrialization, relocation of industries and sobriety of industrial processes, Biomede is a solution to allow the return of activities to the territory.  

The creation and development of our sector is therefore an indicator of sobriety. This is what we also explain to our ecosystem as a company: sometimes we have to step aside from economic and financial indicators to understand the real value of a company. Biomede's long-term horizon cannot be looked at only through a turnover. Rather, we look at which stakeholders we are succeeding in raising awareness of the soil issue, and at what stage of development of the sector we are.  

Biomede, the next unicorn with impact?

We had never thought about this notion of sober unicorn or impact unicorn but it finally makes a lot of sense. We have always wanted to develop another model of entrepreneurship and business: to innovate in order to offer an innovative solution that solves a major ecological problem.  

Internally, we are also putting in place practices to share governance and value.  

We are not a classic startup, let's not be a classic unicorn!

Biomede's pitch at #UED2022 in Lyon:

Read on

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