FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHYTELLIGENCE SECURES $6.95M IN NEW FUNDING, OPENS DOOR FOR TOTAL SERIES B ROUND OF $16M BY AUGUST 2017
Round Led by Cowles Company Based in Spokane, Washington
SEATTLE, Wash. – July 5, 2017 – Phytelligence, an agricultural biotechnology company revolutionizing the way food crops are grown, today announced the first closing of $6.95 million dollars of a total potential $16 million dollar Series B funding round. The first closing was led by Cowles Company, based in Spokane, Washington and followed by further investment from WRF Capital.
The initial $6.95 million will provide funding for expanded plant production that utilizes the proprietary Phytelligence MultiPHY™ technology, while also funding research for developing, owning, and commercializing new rootstock and varieties of apples, cherries, pears, and grapes to further meet the needs of growers and consumers. The company has experienced exponential growth since the new management team came together in late 2015, increasing employee count from 12 to 70 full-time employees, as well as securing greenhouse space in Burien, Washington and establishing a fully-functioning tissue culture lab based in Portland, Oregon. The company also maintains its own research and development lab in Pullman, Washington where it discovers grower-focused technologies while also having the right of first refusal for technologies developed in the Dhingra Lab at Washington State University.
“The growth and milestone achievements of Phytelligence over the past few years have been exciting,” said Phytelligence CEO, Ken Hunt. “This influx of funding gives us the capital needed to continue our rapid expansion to meet the needs of growers domestically and internationally. The success of our company validates the demand for our proprietary technology and the need for a change in the current nursery system. We’re looking forward to expanding our footprint and providing growers with the highest quality, true-to-type plant material and compound solutions for agronomic and consumer benefit.”
“The decision to invest in Phytelligence was an easy one to make once we saw the tremendous gap between the current nursery capabilities and the needs of the modern grower,” stated Steve Rector, CFO of Cowles Company. “The current system of providing plants to growers is antiquated and simply can’t keep up with the changing customer preferences the growers are trying to satisfy. Phytelligence has the technology, the capacity and the expertise needed to completely revolutionize the food crop industry. We look forward to being a part of that mission.”
The initial funding close of $6.95 million signals the availability of an additional $9 million in funding to be secured by August 4, 2017. The total round maximum of $16 million would signify the largest round for the company, who raised a smaller Series A in 2015.
Phytelligence is an agricultural biotechnology company that is revolutionizing food crops. Utilizing its proprietary growing techniques to provide superior quality crops, Phytelligence enables higher grower profit by increasing speed to harvest while reducing input costs. Phytelligence provides additional value to food crop growers and plant breeders through the application of advanced genetics enabling delivery of accurate plants, disease screening, plant repository services, securing of intellectual property, and the ability to co-develop new varieties of food crops. In addition, Phytelligence has a growing pipeline of biological and compound solutions aimed at improving returns throughout the food crop value chain.
Phytelligence was founded in 2012 by Dr. Amit Dhingra, Associate Professor of Horticulture Genomics and Biotechnology Research laboratory at Washington State University. Phytelligence is headquartered in Seattle with locations in Pullman, Washington and Portland, Oregon. In 2016, Phytelligence expanded their footprint to include an 8-acre Seattle-based greenhouse space and a Portland-based tissue culture production facility. Currently, Phytelligence has 70 employees and continues to grow.
About Cowles Company
Cowles Company is a fourth generation family-owned enterprise that operates a portfolio of legacy companies and seeks to invest in high potential growth businesses for the long-term benefit of shareholders, customers, employees and the communities in which it operates.
For more information: www.cowlescompany.com
About WRF Capital
WRF Capital is the Washington Research Foundation’s (WRF) venture investment arm. It has invested in more than 70 local life sciences, physical sciences and information sciences startups since 1995 and proceeds support WRF’s grant programs. The Foundation is recognized as one of the foremost technology transfer and grant-making organizations in the nation and has returned more than $500 million to the state’s research institutions through gifts and licensing disbursements.
For additional information, please visit: http://wrfcapital.com
Director of Marketing and PR for Phytelligence