Elicit Plant raises €16M to address water stress in crops

Cropping systems specialists with the University of California Cooperative Extension recently spoke with Valley Public Radio (KPVR) to discuss decades of work with water-efficient soils and regenerative agriculture, and how water is key to climate change resilience.

This sentiment also aligns with the work being done by Elicit Plant, an agtech company working to champion sustainability in agriculture through the development of phytosterol-based solutions designed to address water stress in crops.

Partnering to advance Elicit Plant’s goals, Sofinnova Partners has led a €16 million (US$18.3 million) Series A that also included ECFG, Bpifrance, and existing investors Aquiti Gestion-NACO fund and Credit-Agricole Charente Perigord Expansion. The balance of the capital was from a banking pool and public programs from Region Nouvelle Aquitaine and Bpifrance.

Founded in 2017 in Charente, France, through its laboratories and precision farm in Charente, and its Brazilian branch in Sao Paulo, Elicit Plant has developed a proprietary platform of water stress resistance solutions in the form of a innovative biostimulant using phytosterol, a molecule found in plants. This solution naturally boosts a plant’s metabolism, reducing its need for water, and therefore, creating a better resistance to water stress.

“Elicit Plant addresses water stress, a major and still unmet need for farmers looking for solutions to tackle climate challenges,” said Michael Brandkamp, managing partner and co-founder, ECBF. “Its unique proprietary unlocks the potential of a class of natural molecules. Building on its solid scientific and technological foundation, Elicit Plant is poised to conquer large international markets.”

Open field trials already conducted have shown yield gains of up to +20 percent – results which have been validated by a network of independent French and international researchers and farmers. And in April 2021, the company secured market approval from French regulatory authorities, leading to the commercial launch of its first BEST-a products for corn and soybeans.

“Elicit Plant brings together three components at the heart of a successful agtech company with a strong environmental impact: a disruptive scientific approach, an extensive field expertise, and a solid entrepreneurial experience,” said Michaël Krel, partner, Sofinnova Partners. “We are delighted to partner with such a talented, visionary and ambitious team, developing products with such promising impact.”

The capital gained through this round will be used by the company to accelerate this commercialization in France as well as several other key markets in Europe, North America, and South America. It also will support the consolidation of its scientific platform, to expand the company’s laboratories, and to diversify its portfolio of production to address additional types of crops.

Jean-François Dechant, president and co-founder of Elicit Plant, commented, “The support of top tier global investors such as Sofinnova Partners and ECBF is strong validation of the quality of our technology platform and of the fantastic potential of our solution. We are ideally positioned to accelerate our growth, bring farmers a market-breaking solution allowing them to better respond to climate change challenges, and become in the next five years a sustainability transition world champion in agriculture.”


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Source of the article : https://www.globalaginvesting.com/elicit-plant-raises-e16m-address-water-stress-crops/