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Biocol Labs

Curing modern diseases with natural medicine

Biocol Labs develops and sells natural pharmaceutical products that are as efficient or more than comparable conventional pharmaceuticals, without any of the potential downsides.

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Their mission
Build the world’s first science-backed, natural medicine platform
Natural medicine
Lisbon, Portugal

Their UVP

The founders draw from close to 50 years of generational experience developing natural medicine to minimize or replace chemical prescriptions. Their products cover ailments like depression, immunity, digestive issues, liver health or chronic tiredness. Their vision is to make natural medicine the norm for anyone, anywhere, anytime, and fully replace chemical pharmaceutical products wherever possible.
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Grand challenge

Natural medicine

proportion of consumers who believe pharma companies "market their products in a trustworthy manner" (Fierce Pharma)

Biocol Labs sits at the intersection of three interconnected challenges in the pharmaceutical and healthcare worlds: distrust, naturality and education.

Distrust. The traditional pharmaceutical models based on over-the-counter chemical drugs to fight sick care have generated confusion among consumers. More than 50% of Americans taking drugs to fix an ailment wish there were an alternative. Though the pharmaceutical industry has contributed significantly to improving global health, there is also a history of companies choosing profits over people, promoting addictive drugs while emphasizing safety and low potential for addiction, and taking large profits on life-saving drugs that could otherwise be distributed more widely.

Naturality. As the global wellness movement grows, many consumers are also increasingly aware of what they ingest, and opt for natural medicines instead of pharmaceutical medication. Not only have natural plants been part of our practices for thousands of years, but many of our modern prescriptions are increasingly being challenged for undesirable or even ineffective outcomes. As an example, scientists have called into question the widespread use of antidepressants after a major review found “no clear evidence” that low serotonin levels are responsible for depression.

Education. Finally, the explosion of (mis)information makes it difficult to know what to trust when reading about medical treatments and protocols online. This was brought into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic, but pre-dates 2020. As an example, studies have shown that up to 87% of posts on social media on topics such as smoking or drugs such as opioids and marijuana contain misinformation. In this context, providing science-based, reliable information is critical for our medical world.

Why did we invest?

200+ formulas available across different categories

Biocol founders
Biocol founder 1
Christian Balivet, CEO
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Christine Pausewang, CEO

We were introduced to Biocol Labs by one of the company’s angel investors. We were immediately impressed by the founders’ vision and mission, and grew interested in the investment opportunity when we saw the combination of strengths they already had.

To start with, the company was founded by the 3rd generation of a family that opened the first natural pharmacy in Lisbon 40 years ago. Over decades, the founder’s parents and grandparents have experimented with hundreds of formulas and protocols, and developed over 200 formulas across different categories. In addition to the core IP value this represents, this internal R&D capability gives them the potential to launch new products at unprecedented speed for science-based medicine.

The team had capitalized on this experience to reach impressive growth with minimal resources, including 7-figure annualized sales and a robust gross margin. They demonstrated a strong execution capacity, launching products with speed and effectiveness.

Finally, the team had started to internalize their supply chain, to gain full control over the product, from plant to customer delivery. In a world of nutritional supplements with sometimes questionable provenance, this laid the foundation for Biocol to build a business rooted in transparency.

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