Innovation Industries invests in disruptive potato breeder Solynta
28 Nov 2017

25 grams potato seeds instead of 2500 kilogram potato tubers as starting material, the Holy Grail in potato breeding, receives strong support as Solynta announced the completion of a €16 million series B financing round by new investors Fortissimo Capital and Innovation Industries as well as existing investors.

Solynta will use this financing round to continue its potato breeding activities and to build a strong commercial organization that can address the billion dollar challenges within the potato supply chain. Solynta is a leading potato breeding and biotechnology company headquartered in the Netherlands. Solynta has invented and established hybrid potato breeding based on pure inbred parent lines, a game changing (non-GMO) breeding technology platform. This enables a seed based supply chain which would allow 25 grams of seeds as starting material instead of 2500 kilogram of tubers. It also allows for the fast and predictable breeding for beneficial traits, such as for example disease resistances, and by this reducing the need for pesticide applications manifold. In this way Solynta will finally unlock the $70 billion farmgate value crop. Solynta potatoes will not only improve potatoes, crisps and fries in the developed markets but will also support global food security through excellent starting material.

“We are thrilled to have attracted the backing and support of these top-notch investors and see their commitment to Solynta as a further validation of the potential of our hybrid potato breeding platform,” says Hein Kruyt, Solynta’s CEO. “The proceeds of this financing round combined with the expertise of Fortissimo Capital and Innovation Industries will enable us to drive and expand Solynta’s game changing approach in potato breeding. We look forward to working with them and use their expertise and guidance to unlock potatoes full potential.”

Yuval Cohen, managing partner of Fortissimo Capital says: “One of the most promising fields in which Fortissimo Capital has been investing is innovation in agriculture.  We have invested in a number of excellent companies in recent years among them hybrid seed companies such as Origene Seeds and Equinom. We believe Solynta provides yet another revolutionary offering with huge potential to transform the entire potato industry.”

“We are very excited about our investment in Solynta”, says Harm de Vries, partner at Innovation Industries. “Solynta makes breeding predictable. This has already resulted in a continuous flow of improved products such as late blight resistant potatoes. We are looking forward to working closely with the company and its excellent management team.”

Wageningen University & Research is elated with the opportunity the financing round offers Solynta to scale up. Sebastiaan Berendse Corporate Director Value Creation: “It shows university spin offs and R&D collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises offer important routes to application and global impact of WUR knowledge. In order to enhance the innovation capacity of our domain, we will continue to expand our partnerships with investors, such as Innovation Industries, corporates and entrepreneurs.”

Note for the press:

About Solynta
Solynta is a leading potato breeding and biotechnology company in the Netherlands. Solynta has invented and established hybrid potato breeding based on pure inbred parent lines. A game changing (non GMO) breeding technology platform. This enables a seed based supply chain which would allow 25 grams of seeds as starting material instead of 2500 kilo of tubers. It also allows for the fast and predictable breeding for beneficial traits, such as for example disease resistances, and by this reducing the need for pesticide applications manifold. In this way Solynta will unlock the already USD70B farmgate value crop. Solynta was laureated by the Dutch government as National Icon.For more information about Solynta see: www.solynta.com.

About Fortissimo
Fortissimo Capital is a private equity group headquartered in Israel that manages four funds that raised $1 billion. Fortissimo Capital focuses on growth capital and companies at a point of inflection. Fortissimo Capital’s investment strategy is to achieve capital appreciation through the stimulation of growth and by building business fundamentals to facilitate sustainable long-term growth and value creation. For more information about Fortissimo Capital see: www.ffcapital.com.

About Innovation Industries
Innovation Industries[1]  is a specialist independent hightech VC fund, targeting Dutch companies that are developing commercially promising products and technologies in attractive technology fields like: nano/microtechnologies, semiconductors & integrated photonics, ICT & (cyber) security, clean technology, Food & Agro technology and medical technology (medical devices & diagnostics). Innovation Industries collaborates closely with the Dutch technology institutes, amongst which the Wageningen University and Research. Innovation Industries has since its inception in June 2017 invested in leading Dutch technology companies, such as Undagrid, Nearfield Instruments, Luxexcel, and Axign. For more information see: www.innovationindustries.com.

About Wageningen University and Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 5,000 employees and 10,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the globally leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines, with a focus on transferring knowledge into application by its partners. wur.nl/en

[1] The Innovation Industries Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.