GIVAT BRENNER, ISRAEL — Seed breeding company Equinom Ltd. raised $20 million in a Series C funding round led by Phoenix, with participation from Fortissimo, BASF Venture Capital, Trendlines and Maverick.
Launched seven years ago, Equinom uses AI-driven technology to design seeds exclusively for the food industry. The company develops new non-GMO varieties of novel grains and works with its partners to custom-design ingredients that enable local sourcing. It has secured contracts with brands such as PepsiCo Inc.’s Sabra and Roquette, and currently has more than 100,000 acres grown across five continents.
Equinom’s seeds contain more protein and oil than traditional commercial varieties. The company already has become a leading supplier for sesame seeds by generating mechanically harvestable varieties, which now are grown worldwide. It also develops yellow pea and soybean seeds, and is working on special grains, including chickpeas, mung beans, quinoa, cowpeas and fava beans. It is gearing up to release its first batch of Smarter Pea Protein later this year, which will be the highest pea protein concentrate available on the market, according to the company.
Equinom will use funds from the Series C round to expand its operations in sales, marketing, research and development.
“Leveraging our cutting-edge seed-to-plate food-application technology to create source ingredients, Equinom helps market-leading food brands turn regular food into super food,” said Gil Shalev, PhD, founder and chief executive officer of Equinom. “Similar to how consumers use Google, we anticipate they will use Equinom’s AI database to match their needs with non-GMO ingredients that have never been explored before.”