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Seed Breeding Co Equinom Raises $4M From Fortissimo

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Monday, October 23rd, 2017

The Israeli company’s advanced breeding technology is based on proprietary algorithms and calculation methods developed by Equinom. Equinom’s legume seed varieties contain 50% more protein than any commercial variety available on the market.

Source: Globes

Israeli seed-breeding startup Equinom has raised $4 million from Israeli-based private equity fund Fortissimo Capital. This is the first installment of Fortissimo’s investment as part of Equinom’s third financing round.Based at Kibbutz Givat Brenner near Rehovot is focused on the development of specialized crops for the food industry. Equinom, which was founded in 2012, has previously raised a total of $2.25 million from Hazera (1939) Ltd., a leader in seed development and field crops, and private investors Michael and Gabriel Danziger, owners of The Danziger Group.

Equinom has developed legume seed varieties – pea, chickpea and cowpea – containing 50% more protein than any commercial variety available on the market. In a market challenged by the growing worldwide demand for sustainable, non-GMO, plant-based protein sources, an increase in protein levels represents significant financial gain to protein processors and food companies.

Equinom’s second product line, sesame for oil and tahini, transforms the economics of the sesame market by solving a problem that has troubled the world of agriculture for decades: Despite worldwide sales of sesame exceeding $8 billion annually, the necessity of manual harvesting has limited the supply of sesame to third world countries where manual labor is available on a large scale.

Addressing this challenge, Equinom developed high-yield sesame varieties suitable for mechanical harvesting, thus opening the supply chain to production anywhere in the world. Equinom’s sesame is in pre-commercial stages in the US and Australia, and is expected to hit the market in 2019.

To date, Equinom has signed a number of breeding contracts with leaders in the food industry including a multi-year contract with Sabra Dipping Company, LLC, a joint venture of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), and the Strauss Group Ltd.

Equinom’s high-yield, shatter-resistant sesame varieties suitable for mechanical harvesting can enable large scale production of sesame in Australia, targeted at the Asian oil markets.