BASF Venture Capital has led a funding round in Equinom, an Israeli tech start-up that uses computerised breeding technology to provide optimised seeds for the food industry to help it meet growing demand for plant-based products.
Existing investors who also joined this round include, among others, ingredients company Roquette and Israeli private equity fund Fortissimo Capital.
Equinom’s algorithm analyses the genomic characteristics from its database of thousands of plants to determine the ideal breeding combination to achieve the desired properties. The system evaluates millions of possible combinations to design optimised seeds that focus on protein, oil or nutrient content, seeds’ functionality, plant yield, disease resistance and other qualities.
Equinom then uses the conventional method to crossbreed the plants whose genetic codes complement each other best. Using this technology, the start-up selectively optimises varieties targeted to food producers’ needs, by creating an application-based solution.
“We strategically crossbreed plants for targeted characteristics, often reintroducing important characteristics that have been inadvertently bred out of ordinary varieties – to produce crops with highly desirable traits,” said Equinom CEO, Gil Shalev.
Equinom said its approach is changing the market for plant-based food applications, such as meat alternatives. The company is introducing high-protein legumes, such as soybeans, peas, chickpeas, cowpeas, mung beans, fava beans and quinoa.
“This is our first investment in an Israeli company,” said Markus Solibieda, managing director of BASF Venture Capital. “Equinom’s technology is groundbreaking in the plant protein value chain and supports the rising trend towards meat alternatives.
“With this investment in Equinom, we are strongly boosting BASF’s strategy of optimising crops and promoting sustainability and healthy food to nourish the planet.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial