SEOUL, South Korea – Vegalab announced the acquisition of Ecowin, a Korea based biopesticide company, in August of last year. As part of the acquisition, Ecowin rebranded itself as Vegalab, with Kyung Bon Koo continuing his role as CEO for the company’s Korea operations. David Selakovic, President of Vegalab S.A., will work alongside Koo and oversee developments at the new location.
Koo founded Ecowin in 2008 to great fanfare; the company won the top award in Korea’s new business competition shortly after it was established. It quickly built success with all-natural biopesticides, which are safer for the environment than conventional chemical pesticides.
Ecowin’s bestselling product is live beneficial nematodes, measuring at just 1mm long each in size. These nematodes enter into pests and eject symbiotic bacteria to kill them within 24-48 hours without harming the environment. At a price of 20% less than competitive products, Ecowin’s nematodes are not only immensely popular in Korea; they are also exported to the United States, Africa, South America, China and Southeast Asia.
The global biopesticide market reached $3.6B in 2014, and is expected to grow to $6.9B by 2019. Due to this growing market, governments are implementing stricter regulations on what products qualify as biopesticides; Korea recently increased their list of restricted chemicals in residue from 240 to 330. Vegalab actively works with government associations to ensure their products continue to deliver high efficacy results while following regulations for all-natural biopesticides.
Korea provides national research and development subsidy programs to promising companies, the most revered one being the National Intellectual Properties and R&D Strategy Supporting Program (IP-R&D). “I found out about IP-R&D the first time in 2013 through a national intellectual properties analysis agency. They were providing us with patent analysis for potential countries we wanted to export our products to. We joined the subsidy program to increase visibility on our patents and develop future R&D ideas,” says Koo.
Because of the national IP-R&D program, Ecowin was able to export its live nematodes and other biopesticides additional countries around the world, effectively doubling overseas sales. Using the government subsidy, they were able to develop a culturing device for live nematodes, which allows them to produce their product at a higher capacity than before.
“We’re very excited the opportunities this acquisition has created for us, and we are looking forward to continued growth as Vegalab,” Koo says, “knowing the Korean government supports our research and development makes us work even harder to become one of the leading biopesticide companies in the world.”
About Vegalab Company
Vegalab S.A. is a worldwide leading formulator, developer, and manufacturer of environmentally friendly products that are rooted in sustainability. Managed by David Selakovic, the company pursues a unique approach by steering the agricultural industry away from traditional chemicals and towards all-natural solutions. Products include organic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides, which are developed under Selakovic’s supervision by a team of experienced scientists in the headquarters’ laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland. Vegalab is dedicated to creating an efficient, ecologically sound planet for future generations.