NORWICH, 13 June 2018: Tropic Biosciences, a pioneering leader in the development of new plant varieties in the massive tropical agriculture industry using CRISPR Gene Editing, is proud to announce the close of its $10 million Series A funding round. Proceeds from the round will support the commercialisation of the company’s novel non-GMO coffee and banana varieties and allow its global expansion into additional promising crop segments.
Series A fundraising was led by Pontifax AgTech, a leading growth capital investor in the global food and agriculture technology sector, and by Five Seasons Ventures. Pontifax and Five Seasons Ventures are joined by several experienced co-investors, including, Tekfen Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures, Bits x Bites, Midven-RSF and the Family Offices of Mr Gigi Levy-Weiss and Mr Antonio Moreira Salles.
The value-added novel plant varieties developed by Tropic Biosciences have enormous potential to promote consumer wellbeing and grower economics, increase crop stability, and address unmet nutritional needs within the global coffee and banana industries. These industries have a combined market value of over $50 billion and are critical to over half a billion people worldwide.
Tropic Biosciences is the first company to successfully utilise gene editing in developing high-performing, non-GMO commercial varieties of coffee and bananas with benefits for both consumer wellbeing and grower economics. I am delighted to be involved with Tropic Biosciences team and their ground-breaking work.
Gilad Gershon and Dr Eyal Maori, the CEO and CSO of Tropic Biosciences respectively, said: “We are wholly committed to enacting real change in the global agriculture industry. We aim to aid growers by bringing genetic innovation to crops and geographies that have seen little such innovation to date; and to promote global health and consumer wellbeing by developing highly nutritious, versatile plant varieties. Our team is excited to have such value-added investors join our efforts and look forward to utilising the new funds in accomplishing our goal of transforming the vast global agriculture industry.”
Ben Belldegrun, Founder and Managing Partner of Pontifax AgTech, and Niccolo Manzoni, Founder and Managing Partner of Five Seasons Ventures, have been appointed to the Board of Directors. They join a board of industry-leading professionals including Dr David Lawrence; Dr Vincent Pétiard, former Director of the Nestlé Corporate R&D Centre for Plant Sciences; and Mr Erez Vigodman, former president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, ADAMA Agricultural Solutions and Strauss Group.
“Gene editing is a transformative technology which represents a huge global opportunity, with potential in not just the biotech industry but also in the wider agriculture supply chain. In Tropic Biosciences’ highly experienced team, we and our co-investors see the potential to redefine consumer health, nutrition and improved yields. We look forward to providing expertise and access to our extensive network of growers and strategic players to support the further growth of Tropic Biosciences and the commercialisation of its industry leading tools.”