Jul 6, 2017
Phytelligence secures $6.95 million in new funding

Seattle-based Phytelligence, an agricultural biotechnology company,  announced July 5 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.

According to a news release, 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,” said 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 Aug. 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. Investors interested in participating in the larger round can contact Tom Virgin, CFO, at [email protected].

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