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GreenSoil Investments Announces Investment in Phenome Networks’ Revolutionary Plant Breeding Software

By: Mickey Chesla, Blog Manager

Phenome Networks is the fifth company joining GreenSoil’s portfolio. The investment will allow the venture to scale internationally and further advance its product offering.

GreenSoil Investments, a fund focusing on investment in food and agro innovation, announced today it has made an investment in Phenome Networks, a company that sells the world’s leading cloud-based system for plant breeding management and analytics. The investment will enable Phenome Networks to accelerate its international growth and expand its product offering.

Phenome Networks was founded in 2008 as a result of an interdisciplinary Ph.D. thesis by IT graduate Dr. Yaniv Semel under the supervision of geneticist Prof. Dani Zamir at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Today, Phenome Networks sells its cloud-based system to leading seed companies, plant breeders and research institutes. For the first time, plant breeders can efficiently manage the enormous data volume involved in the breeding process in an intuitive and user-friendly manner. Smart analytics allow users to make sense of trends and correlations previously hidden from the breeder and enable decision support improving the breeding process.

“Phenome Networks addresses a true pain-point for many breeders – from large seed companies to research institutes” says Gideon Soesman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GreenSoil Investments. “Even large, sophisticated breeders often do not manage their data efficiently and interactively. We are talking about a multi-billion dollar market in which progress is critical to increase crop yields and produce food for a growing world population. Phenome Networks holds the key to unlocking the innovation potential of an entire industry.”

Asked about Phenome Networks’ uniqueness and market potential he added: “It is quite telling that a young company like Phenome Networks is already selling to half the Israeli market – home to some of the world’s most renowned breeders -and to several large international seed companies.”

Dr. Yaniv Semel, Phenome Networks’ Co-Founder and CEO, explains: “Our solution was developed in collaboration with leading plant scientists and provides our customers with a user-friendly, customizable and integrative solution. We simplify the lives of our customers who save hours each week on data entry, tracking and synthesis; while our analysis tools help them reach better decisions that were previously based on ‘guestimates’”.

Asked about the path forward Yaniv added: “We are still in the beginning. The global market is in need of a solution – and we have it in our hands. On the product front we are working on several exciting product extensions based on data mining, big data and machine learning that will amplify the value for our customers”

The company’s chairman, Omer Harari, formerly at Markstone Capital welcomed GreenSoil’s investment in the company: “We sought a smart, value-add investor with whom we can work to bring Phenome Networks to the next level. GreenSoil Investments is Israel’s premier agro-tech investor; we see their commitment and our partnership as an affirmation of Phenome Networks’ value proposition and market potential”.

The investment in Phenome Networks marks GreenSoil’s fifth investment since its inception in December 2011 and the third investment through its second Fund: GreenSoil Investments II, LP. GreenSoil’s first fund (GreenSoil Investments I, LP.) invested in Rehovot based Fruitura Bioscience, which is pioneering the scalable production of natural fruit cells for health-enhancing ingredients for the food and beverage market; and in Rootility, a company utilizing high throughput plant breeding for root optimization achieving significant yield increases and stress tolerance for growers. GreenSoil Investments’ second Fund previously invested in Tipa, providing flexible, biodegradable packaging solutions to the food and beverage industry, and in EcoFer, offering fertigation solutions that allow farmers to flexibly dissolve dry fertilizers on site prior to injection into irrigation systems.

For the full GreenSoil Investments press release click here.


    Agriculture, Investment, Start-ups
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