Solynta Secures Backing for Hybrid Seed

Published online: Nov 28, 2017 Articles, Seed Potatoes
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Dutch potato breeding and biotechnology company Solynta has announced the completion of a $19.1 million series B financing round by new investors Fortissimo Capital and Innovation Industries, as well as existing investors.

Solynta will use this financing round to continue its potato breeding activities and to build a strong commercial organization that can address the billion-dollar challenges in the potato supply chain. Solynta has invented and established hybrid potato breeding based on pure inbred parent lines, a game changing—and non-GMO—breeding technology platform. This enables a seed-based supply chain that would allow 25 grams of seeds as starting material instead of 2,500 kilograms of tubers, which Solynta calls “the Holy Grail of potato breeding.” It also allows for fast and predictable breeding for beneficial traits, such as disease resistances, thus reducing the much of the need for pesticide applications. In this way, Solynta says it will be able to unlock the $70 billion farmgate value crop. Solynta hopes its potatoes will support global food security through excellent starting material.

“We are thrilled to have attracted the backing and support of these top-notch investors and see their commitment to Solynta as a further validation of the potential of our hybrid potato-breeding platform,” says Hein Kruyt, Solynta’s CEO. “The proceeds of this financing round, combined with the expertise of Fortissimo Capital and Innovation Industries, will enable us to drive and expand Solynta’s game-changing approach in potato breeding. We look forward to working with them and using their expertise and guidance to unlock potatoes’ full potential.”

“One of the most promising fields in which Fortissimo Capital has been investing is innovation in agriculture,” says Yuval Cohen, managing partner of Fortissimo Capital. “We have invested in a number of excellent companies in recent years, among them hybrid seed companies such as Origene Seeds and Equinom. We believe Solynta provides yet another revolutionary offering with huge potential to transform the entire potato industry.”

“We are very excited about our investment in Solynta,” says Harm de Vries, partner at Innovation Industries. “Solynta makes breeding predictable. This has already resulted in a continuous flow of improved products such as late blight-resistant potatoes. We are looking forward to working closely with the company and its excellent management team.”

“It shows university spinoffs and R&D collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises offer important routes to application and global impact of our knowledge,” says Sebastiaan Berendse, corporate director of value creation for Wageningen University & Research. “In order to enhance the innovation capacity of our domain, we will continue to expand our partnerships with investors, corporations and entrepreneurs.”