Equinom’s computerised breeding technology provides optimised seeds for the food industry


Image: BASF is the lead investor in a funding round for Equinom. Photo: courtesy of Equinom.

Israeli AgTech startup Equinom has closed funding round with BASF Venture Capital serving as the lead investor.

Equinom has developed a computerised breeding technology designed to provide optimised seeds for the food industry.

The bioinformatics-based technology helps in fast-tracking generations of crop breeding with enhanced efficiency.

Equinom CEO Gil Shalev said: “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.

“Our proprietary computer algorithm and big data meet crop yield, quality and trait objectives in a way that no other seed-breeding company has done before, which also cuts time to market by years.”

BASF’s strategy aims to apply innovative solutions in the agriculture industry

BASF said that BASF Venture Capital’s investment promotes its strategy of applying innovative solutions in agriculture.

The investors in the funding round also include Israeli private equity investment group Fortissimo Capital and Roquette, a provider of plant-based ingredients for food, nutrition and health markets and a pioneer in new vegetal proteins, among others.

BASF Venture Capital managing director Markus Solibieda said: “This is our first investment in an Israeli company.

“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 optimizing crops and promoting sustainability and healthy food to nourish the planet.”

Equinom, which also offers high-oil-content sesame to enable flexible cultivation options, is launching high-protein legumes, such as soybeans, peas, chickpeas, cowpeas, mung beans, fava beans and quinoa.

Earlier this year, genomics company NRGene has entered into a research collaboration with BASF to accelerate crop breeding.

The partnership enables the use of NRGene’s cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology in BASF soybean research projects.

The GenoMAGIC technology will facilitate comprehensive evaluations to improve trait discovery and breeding across diverse crops.