Maker of sustainable plant growth accelerator eyes ‘major’ investment to fuel growth
February 4th, 2015
Inocucor to speed up commercialization of next-generation of sustainable accelerators for agriculture
Agriculture biotech company Inocucor Technologies Inc., a maker of OMRI-approved, organic soil, seed and plant growth accelerators, said Tuesday a recent investment has kicked off a “major” round of private equity financing.
Montreal-based Inocucor said the recent interim investment round came from Cycle Capital Management, a Montreal-based cleantech venture capital fund that made its first investment in Inocucor in late 2013, with participation from Desjardins Innovatech, Canada’s leading cooperative financial group with more than $200 billion in assets.
Inocucor’s first-generation product, called Garden Solution, is a proprietary and patented biological soil, seed, root system, and plant growth product fermented from live microbes, including yeasts and bacteria, to improve the health of the microbial community, known as the phyto-microbiome, in both the plant and soil.
The company said field tests of Garden Solution showed increased yields of 10 to 15 percent by promoting plant growth, boosting plant biomass and causing earlier maturation of fruit and vegetables. The product also helps plants survive extreme weather conditions, including drought, and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, the company said.
Inocucor spokesperson Michele Wells told Sustainable Food News the recently closed round of investment from Cycle Capital was for a “few million” dollars. But, that set the stage for the current “major equity financing” already underway and slated to close by the second half of 2015, Wells said. The company declined to disclose Cycle Capital’s current ownership of Inocucor.
Proceeds from the investment underway will speed up commercialization of the company’s second-generation, cell-free biostimulation product targeting the agriculture market. The patented technology, which uses fermentation similar to winemaking – employing up to 15 strains of compatible yeasts and bacteria – to boost seed germination and increase crop yields.
“All eyes in agriculture are focused on biological, rather than chemical, solutions to improve yields and build healthy soils,” said Donald Marvin, Inocucor CEO.
Inocucor said proceeds from the financing underway may also be used to make strategic acquisitions that will speed the commercialization of its proprietary microbial consortia technology and broaden its product pipeline.
Inocucor’s growth strategy is focused on establishing commercial partnerships that include its intellectual property as a key ingredient for new bio-stimulation and bio-protection products for large-scale production farmers.
Last September, Inocucor cemented its first commercial strategic partnership with Axter Agrosciences Inc., one of Canada’s leading providers of foliar feeding crop solutions, to develop products based on the combined action of Inocucor’s second-generation cellfree growth stimulant and Axter’s biostimulants, CropBooster and RR SoyBooster.
That same month, organic inputs review group, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), approved Garden Solution for use in the United States as an organic soil amendment.
In October, Inocucor and McGill University signed a research and licensing agreement to co-produce a new class of sustainable bio-stimulant products for large-scale agriculture that have the potential to increase crop yields by at least 10 to 15 percent.
by Sustainable Food News
February 3, 2015