BioLumic, a company that has created the first ultraviolet crop-yield enhancement system, today announced that it has received $5 million in new funding to help it further its technology and to expand its business.
Addressing the global need for increased agricultural crop yields, BioLumic treats seedlings and seeds with proprietary ultraviolet light systems. Its patented technology applies UV light treatments that help improve crop consistency, increase yields, and boost disease resistance. Already in commercial use around the globe, BioLumic has worked with large-scale produce growers and processors in California and Mexico with yield gains of up to 22 percent, and the company has commercial trials underway in Spain and the United Kingdom.
“BioLumic is the only company using light as an ag treatment at the beginning of a plant’s life,” BioLumic CEO Warren Bebb said. “Exposure to a short-duration treatment of UV-enriched light at a critical stage in a plant’s development turns on characteristics to help the seed or seedling more effectively defend itself against disease or pest attacks and more efficiently use water and nutrients from the soil for its entire lifespan.”
The newly announced financing comes from agricultural technology investors, including Finistere Ventures and Radicle Growth, both based in California, and Rabobank, a Dutch company that has a Food & Agri Innovation Fund.
Initially focused on lettuce, broccoli, strawberry and tomato seedlings, BioLumic will use the new funding to accelerate the research and commercialization of its seed-focused technology, expanding into row crop and vegetable seeds in the years ahead. The investment will also be used to aggressively expand the BioLumic team in both New Zealand and its new U.S. office in California, and to intensify the global deployment of its UV technologies.
“Ag players are seeking to find more sustainable ways to meet the growing global food production demands, and BioLumic is the first to take a UV approach to precision seed/seedling treatments,“ said Richard O’Gorman, director of Rabo’s Food & Agri Innovation Fund.“We believe BioLumic has the potential to significantly enhance the value of produce for growers by enabling higher yield and greater crop uniformity — in particular in geographies where Rabo has a strong history of serving farmers.”