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Phospholutions, Inc. attracts capital from global agricultural companies

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Fertilizer,

Phospholutions Inc. has announced additional investment from agricultural companies to support commercialisation of RhizoSorb® in the US row crop market. The recent funding includes investment from Ospraie Ag Sciences (OAS), Bunge Ventures, the for-profit, global investment arm of Bunge.

Phosphorus is the second largest nutrient needed for food production worldwide, yet 90% is lost from mine to fork. The global phosphatic fertilizer market is expected to reach US$78B by 2025. Phosphate is a finite resource and its excessive use is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater pollution globally. After extensive on-farm testing and almost 30 years of academic research, RhizoSorb®, a fertilizer additive, has been proven to reduce phosphorus fertilizer applications by 50% without compromising yield. RhizoSorb® increases the efficiency of applied and native soil phosphorus by releasing nutrients based on a chemical gradient in the soil, leading to better availability throughout the season. RhizoSorb® has been tested on row crops including corn, soybean, wheat, barley, sunflower, chickpea, rice, and turfgrass.

“RhizoSorb® is proven to deliver the same amount of phosphorus to the plant with half the amount of applied fertilizer,” said Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hunter Swisher. “Conventional fertilizers are inefficient as less than 25% of phosphorus is taken up by the crop during the growing season. With recent increases in fertilizer prices and supply constraints in key global markets, farmers urgently need proven solutions to help maximise the return on input costs. This investment helps accelerate our commercial launch by supporting this year’s commercial trial program, strategic development partnerships, and enables product to be delivered to the US row crop market for the 2023 growing season.”

In addition to this new investment series, Phospholutions has announced that Stephan Levitsky joined the team as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Sustainability. Levitsky has more than 20 years of senior executive experience in leading food and agricultural companies. “The support for our shared global vision of a more sustainable future for agriculture has us aligning strategically with our investors who are looking to bring science-backed solutions to the market to make meaningful impact,” said Levitsky.

Utilising its network and 25 years of experience investing in agriculture, OAS is positioned to help farmers achieve a sustainable future. Carl Casale from OAS commented, “RhizoSorb® technology aligns closely to our venture firm’s mission to do more with less. The technology promotes increased grower profitability and reduces environmental impact to contribute to a more sustainable future for farming.”

This new investment series announced follows the Series A totalling US$10.3 million announced early last year, which allowed Phospholutions to more than triple in size. The investments were led by Continental Grain Company with participation from Tekfen Ventures, Maumee Ventures, Ag Ventures Alliance, and 1855 Capital. Additionally, Phospholutions recently won a US$250 000 investment during The Radicle Challenge by UPL.

Late last year, Phospholutions was also chosen as one of the first five companies selected for the Farm2050 Nutrient Technology Trialing Platform in New Zealand, organized by Finistere Ventures and Innovations Endeavors. New Zealand will join Canada, US, Turkey, India, Brazil and Africa on the list of global RhizoSorb® trial locations planned for 2022.

In the United States, Phospholutions will continue their partnership with St. Louis, Missouri digital ag company, IN10T, as they expand their field trial reach to up to 130 additional corn fields across 12 states in the United States in 2022.

Dr. Aaron Waltz, Phospholutions’ Chief Technical Officer, said, “The 2021 trial program through IN10T was a great first-season test of RhizoSorb on the farm. RhizoSorb was successful in reducing phosphorus use by up to half across soil types, application methods, and fertilizer sources without compromising yield.”

Randy Barker, CEO of IN10T commented, "our continued partnership with Phospholutions signals confidence in our data driven platform to bring new ag technologies to farmers. After our first year of on-farm trials RhizoSorb exhibited real benefits to farmers by improving phosphorus use efficiency, and we look forward to our IN10T/RhizoSorb commercial trials in 2022 with corn farmers across the entire Midwest market."

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