A Montreal-based company is helping farmers feed humanity through a bio-stimulant product that speeds delivery of nutrients to plants, improving crop yields.
Inocucor Corp, which was approved for $7 million in funding from the SDTC in December, has raised an additional CAD $12.1 million in Series B financing.
The tranche was led by US food and agriculture investor Pontifax AgTech and joined by existing investors Cycle Capital Management, Desjardins Innovatech, and Cairn Investments. The follow-on financing brings the total value of the round, initially closed last year, to $50.9 million.
Inocucor, a developer of biological inputs for high-value produce and row crops, was founded in Montreal in 2007, and with this Series B has opened a new headquarters in Denver, Colorado. It will use the newly raised funds for the opening, a new production facility, commercialization of two biostimulants, and development of biocontrol products.
Its first product, Synergro, is being sold to growers of high-value produce such as strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli.
Both of Inocucor’s products are among the first microbial products of their kind to be registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In the U.S., Synergro is approved for use in 22 states and Synergro Free is registered in 17 states.
“We’ve come a long way in a few short years, with two products in use in the field, a signature line of biocontrol products under development and hundreds of field trials underway throughout the Americas,” said Inocucor’s President and CEO Donald R. Marvin. “Our business strategy and plan are guided by our vision for a Second Green Revolution for agriculture, one that uses earth-friendly farming products to improve crop yields, revitalize soils and improve water quality.”
Inocucor uses a patented fermentation process to combine multi-strains of bacteria, yeasts and fungi into powerful biostimulants that naturally improve crop yields, shorten growing periods and create healthier, more resilient soils for farmers and greenhouse growers. A suite of microbial biocontrol products that target devastating diseases in potatoes, tomatoes and strawberries is also under development.
“Biologicals are currently the single fastest-growing area within AgTech, with microbial discovery platforms that produce more sustainable, superior alternatives to traditional agrochemicals poised to gain far greater adoption among growers,” said Ben Belldegrun, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Pontifax AgTech. “Inocucor is distinguished from its peers by its talented management team, growing portfolio of commercialized products and established distribution channels for these proven technologies. Our investment in the company, combined with the access we can provide to leading growers and strategic players, will support Inocucor’s further growth and the expansion of its product portfolio to a wider range of crop varieties.”
Inocucor’s first products are being produced at the firm’s 10,000-square-foot R&D and pilot production laboratories at Technoparc Montreal. That facility will soon be expanded to 20,000 square feet to meet the company’s increased R&D activities. Both products are designed to be compatible with existing agriculture practices. Early next spring, Inocucor will occupy its 30,000 square foot U.S. headquarters and commercialization office currently under construction in Centennial, Colorado.