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15 June, 2018 - 10:55 By Tony Quested

Californians help crop pioneer raise $10m

Californian investors have led a $10 million funding round to underpin global scale-up for a Norwich-based AgriTech pioneer.

Pontifax AgTech has steered the Series A round to help Tropic Biosciences commercialise novel, non genetically modified coffee and banana varieties and expand into other promising crop segments. The round was co-led by Five Seasons Ventures.

The varieties developed by Tropic are said to have enormous potential to promote consumer wellbeing and grower economics, increase crop stability and address unmet nutritional needs within the international coffee and banana industries.

These two segments have a combined market value of more than $50 billion and are said to be critical to more than half a billion people worldwide. Tropic will use the cash to scale extensive greenhouse and field trials and drive regulatory approval processes to the plant varieties.

Based at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, the company employs 17 experienced professionals.

The business was founded by Dr Eyal Maori, the chief scientific officer, CTO Dr Ofir Meir and chief executive Gilad Gershon in 2016.

Lead funder Pontifax, headquartered in Santa Monica, injects growth capital into international food and agricultural tech businesses.

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