KAIIMA Bio-Agritech Ltd., an Israel-based seed and breeding technology company, announced that it has raised more than $65 million in equity from three new investors as well as some current investors.
The three new investors are: Horizons Ventures, which manages the private investments of Li Ka-shing in internet and technology globally; International Financial Corp. (IFC), a member of World Bank Group, and Infinity Group, a leading cross-border, China-focused, private equity fund and innovation platform.
Existing investors include: DFJ, DFJ-Tamir Fishman, Mitsui, KPCB, Oberlee and Musea Ventures.
Kaiima's proprietary enhanced ploidy technology multiplies a plant's genome without compromising its integrity.
This non-genetically modified technology is implemented within the genomes of crops that are vital to global food security as well as specific energy crops to significantly boost productivity and improve land and water use efficiencies, the company said.
"The fastest growth in demand for food and, subsequently, the greatest opportunity for crop yield enhancements exists in the emerging markets," Ruzgar Barisik, investment officer at IFC, said. "Technology innovation is creating the means for enhancing food production to meet the increasing demand for food while limiting the impact on the environment — a critical objective during times of climate change."
Mark Chess, a managing director at Infinity Group, added, "We are convinced that Kaiima's technology is a game changer for the agricultural industry. With China's increasing urbanization and growing middle class, the requirement for a significantly greater food supply is a critical imperative. Kaiima's ability to increase yield and food production for major crops such as wheat, corn and rice provides a tremendous opportunity."