Ra’anana / Nes Ziona, December 17, 2013 – 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 (www.fruitura.com), 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 (www.tipa-corp.com), providing flexible, biodegradable packaging solutions to the food and beverage industry, and in EcoFer (www.ecofer-tech.com), offering fertigation solutions that allow farmers to flexibly dissolve dry fertilizers on-site prior to injection into irrigation systems.
About Phenome Networks
Phenome Networks (www.phenome-networks.com) provides a state of the art bio-informatics platform that organizes the wealth of genotype-to-phenotype data generated in the plant breeding process in commercial companies and academic institutes. The platform allows to extraction of knowledge and insights that accelerate plant breeding. The burst of genotyping technologies in recent years has the potential to transform the way traditional breeding is conducted. The company’s strategy is to supply novel statistical methods and algorithms to assist its customers in coping with these changes and translating big data problems into smart decisions.
About GreenSoil Investments
GreenSoil Investments (www.greensoil-investments.com) is an investment company with a portfolio of venture capital and private equity funds focused on investing in companies that create value through offering products and services which enable smart and efficient resource utilization. Founders Alan Greenberg and Gideon Soesman have raised over USD $26 million in their first two active funds, GreenSoil Investments I, LP and GreenSoil Investments II, LP. These funds leverage the highly successful Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem and know-how in the agro-food industry and are the only Israeli funds focused exclusively on this space. GreenSoil provides equity capital together with hands-on management expertise and support to its portfolio companies.