Plans include a U.S. corporate headquarters and manufacturing expansion, product development partnerships, and strategic acquisitions in North America, Latin America and Western Europe
MONTREAL, March 28, 2017 — Inocucor Technologies Inc., a leading innovator and producer of sustainable biological crop inputs, announced completion of the $38.8 million CAD first close of its Series B financing round. The lead investor in the first close is TPG Alternative and Renewable Technologies (TPG ART), a growth-equity and late-stage venture capital vehicle of global alternative asset firm TPG.
Inocucor uses a patented fermentation process to combine multi-strains of bacteria and yeasts into powerful soil and plant optimizers that are safe for people and the environment. These products naturally improve crop yields, shorten growing periods and create healthier, more resilient soils for farmers and greenhouse growers.
“This investment speaks to TPG ART’s strategy of partnering with unique companies that are deploying innovative business models and technologies to reduce environmental impact and promote resource efficiency,” said Geoff Duyk, partner at TPG ART. ”We’re excited to work with Inocucor’s management team and other investors to help grow the company.”
In connection with the investment, Duyk joined Inocucor’s board of directors.
Other participants in this first Series B round are Cycle Capital Management, the Montreal-based clean tech venture capital firm that made its first investment in Inocucor in late 2013; Desjardins Innovatech, another original investor and the venture capital group of Desjardins, one of Canada’s leading cooperative financial groups with more than $200 billion in assets; and Closed Loop Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in agriculture technologies and food system innovations.
Funds will support opening a U.S. headquarters and commercialization office, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity at Inocucor’s Montreal pilot production and R&D facility, and adding managerial and scientific expertise to Inocucor’s staff.
“The specialty ag biologicals sector is one of agriculture’s bright spots, answering the need for sustainable agriculture inputs that help growers improve yields and invigorate soil,” said Inocucor’s President and CEO Donald R. Marvin. “Our corporate strategy includes staking our claim as a market leader in this emerging segment by growing organically with our own proprietary microbial consortia technology while also pursuing strategic acquisitions and product development partnerships in North America, Latin America and Western Europe.”
Andrée-Lise Méthot, founder and managing partner of Cycle Capital Management, said her firm sees a very bright future for Inocucor. “Inocucor has come a long way since our first investment. It has products on the market, being used by growers who are experiencing positive results. The promise we saw in those early days is coming to fruition,” she said.
Inocucor’s flagship product, Garden Solution®, soon to be rebranded in the U.S. as Synergro™, is a live-cell formulation for high-value produce, such as strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli. Synergro FreeTM is a cell-free bio-fertilizer additive to existing plant nutrients for commodity row crops, such as soybean, corn and wheat. Inocucor’s new-product development pipeline includes bio-control formulations that combat economically devastating diseases in crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes.
Both products are among the first microbial products of their kind to be registered in Canada. In the U.S., Garden Solution (Synergro) is OMRI Listed® nationally and OIM-registered in California for organic production. It is registered for use in 22 U.S. states. Synergro Free is registered in 16 U.S. states.
Marvin said independent studies using Synergro have shown increased yields in strawberries of 30 percent or more. Yields for other high-value produce crops using a Synergro-based treatment program have increased from the high single digits to between 40 and 50 percent. Inocucor is currently starting internal and external field trials for the 2017 growing season based on data collected from row crop field trials with commercial partners in Latin America and North America.
In November 2015, Inocucor was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Inocucor’s microbial consortia technology, fermentation process and unique microbial products. That initial patent is now in the process of issuing in major jurisdictions around the world.
Inocucor Technologies Inc., based in Montreal, is an ag biotech company that develops sustainable biological products for agriculture targeting the phyto-microbiome—the seeds, plants, root systems and the soil surrounding them. Inocucor’s first-generation product, Garden Solution®, soon to be re-branded as Synergro, employs live microbes to actively improve the health of the entire phyto-microbiome. Its second product, Synergro Free and future generations of Inocucor products are powerful biological formulations for bio-stimulation, bio-fertility and bio-control targeting mainstream production agriculture. For more information, visit www.inocucor.com
About TPG ART
TPG Alternative & Renewable Technologies (TPG ART) is a growth-equity platform dedicated to partnering with companies that deploy novel business models and technologies to reduce environmental impact and promote resource efficiency. With more than $245 million in assets currently under management, TPG ART looks to help develop companies in multiple sectors, including but not limited to renewable power generation, energy efficiency, environmental services, waste management, agriculture, and industrial technologies. For more information, visit www.tpg.com/platforms/tpgart
About Cycle Capital Management
Cycle Capital Management is the most active cleantech VC in Canada. Cycle Capital invests in companies developing and commercializing clean technologies and striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, optimizing resource use, and improving process efficiency throughout a product’s life cycle. With assets under management of $230M, Cycle Capital invests in Quebec and North America. Cycle Capital Management, based in Montreal with an office in Toronto and points of presence in New York, Seattle and Qingdao in China, regroups seasoned investment professionals, strategic advisors and industrial partners with in-depth knowledge of the sector. Cycle Capital Management has a special relationship with its strategic partners, notably Brookfield Renewable Energy, Rio Tinto Alcan, Cascades, Group M3, Lonza, Gaz Métro, Systemex Énergies, Aluminerie Alouette, and Hydro-Québec. For more information on Cycle Capital Management visit: www.cyclecapital.com
About Desjardins-Innovatech L.P.
Desjardins-Innovatech investment fund’s mission is to provide and support Quebec technological or industrial technological companies while striving to preserve ownership of Quebec-based enterprise and to create flagship companies. The Fund – managed by Desjardins Entreprises Capital régional et coopératif, a subsidiary of Mouvement Desjardins – was created in 2005 by the Government of Quebec and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins. The Fund is partnering with technological stakeholders – specialized investment funds, entrepreneurs, angel investors and technological accelerators – to contribute to the development of promising SMEs. www.desjardins-innovatech.com
About Closed Loop Capital
Closed Loop Capital is an early-stage venture capital platform investing in exceptional entrepreneurs leading ventures in agriculture technology and food system innovation in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.closedloopcapital.com