Israeli seed breeding startup Equinom announced Wednesday that it raised $10 million in a Series B funding round led by BASF Venture Capital with participation from Roquette, Israel’s Trendlines Group, and current investor Fortissimo Capital from Tel Aviv.
The startup will use the funding to expand its non-GMO crossbreeding plant technology, which it says produces seeds with higher nutritional value, disease resistance, and increased crop yield.
The recent $10 million investment “represents market leaders’ trust in Equinom’s proprietary technology and its capabilities,” the company said in a statement. The food tech startup has gained increased awareness and leadership in providing solutions for the plant-based food industry, which has spurred numerous strategic collaborations.
The company also said it plans to launch a high-protein pea variety in 2021, according to CEO Gil Shalev, who founded the company eight years ago “to feed the world with nutritious, high protein food,” adding that he recognized the need to improve food supply and make it more affordable, with a primary focus on the source of the challenge — seeds and legumes.
“This investment round has been highly successful and combines financial investors as well as strategic investors, as well as VCs from multiple regions around the world,” said Shalev. “It will accelerate Equinom’s expansion globally and allow us to build talent and infrastructure to better serve our clients locally. Already, we have enjoyed phenomenal sales growth across four continents in 2019.”
Equinom says it is the first company to design seeds exclusively for the food industry, enabling clients to choose specific varieties for their needs.
“Equinom will continue working with plant-based food ingredients and food companies to help create tasty, ‘cleaner’ plant-based applications,” Shalev said. “We already have clients producing products with our smart grains, which provide higher quality, improved nutritional values, and lower production costs.”