Equinom, Ltd. announces it has raised $10 million in a round led by BASF Venture Capital, followed by Roquette and Trendlines Group. Equinom’s non-GMO technology shapes the future of plant protein by designing smarter seeds via fast-track, technology-driven breeding methodology that harnesses natural genetic variation in plants.
The Israeli company says it is transforming the food industry, strategically breeding non-GMO seeds with higher nutritional profiles and increased crop yields. It is the first company to design seeds exclusively for the food industry, enabling clients to choose specific varieties for their needs.
Smart seeds are more nutritious than traditional commercial varieties, featuring protein and oil contents among the highest in the market. Equinom introduces such high-value characteristics and organoleptic properties by combining advanced sensory technologies with high-throughput protein analysis systems.
Gil Shalev, CEO of Equinom, founded the company eight years ago with a drive to feed the world with nutritious, high protein food. He recognized the need to improve the food supply and make it more affordable, with a primary focus on the source of the challenge – seeds and legumes. Under his leadership, Equinom has been building a new “ecosystem” that directly connects food companies to the supply chain, bringing greater transparency and paving the way for more responsible sourcing of high-value plant protein.
An example of the success of Equinom’s mission is that in just five years, the company has become the preferred supplier for sesame seeds by generating mechanically harvestable varieties. These seed stocks are now being grown worldwide.
“We also plan to launch our high-protein pea variety in 2021,” adds Shalev. “Equinom will continue working with plant-based food ingredients and food companies to help create tasty, “cleaner” plant-based applications. We already have clients producing products with our smart grains, which provide higher quality, improved nutritional values, and lower production costs.”
“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,” notes 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.”