New Zealand startup BioLumic raises $1.5 m from Canada’s Canopy Rivers

Cannabis plant in a pot in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, South Korea. Photo: Unsplash

BioLumic, a New Zealand-based agritech starup that creates sustainable ultraviolet (UV) crop yield enhancement system, secured a $1.5 million funding from Canada’s Canopy Rivers, according to an announcement.

The investment – part of a $6.7 million Series A funding round – will help the startup expand its team to support the growth of its UV light treatment initiatives, including medical applications in the cannabis market.

BioLumic raised the $5 million in the first tranche of the current funding round in March 2018 from US-based VC firm Finistere Ventures, Finistere-backed agtech accelerator Radicle Growth, the Netherland’s private equity firm Rabobank Food, and Agri Innovation Fund.

BioLumic is an agtech startup that develops crop yield enhancement system, thereby creating a proprietary UV technology. The startup also aims to commercialize and cultivate strong and healthier plants, with the aim to meet the rising demand for Cannabis in the regulated medical market.

“Growers need more sustainable ways to meet global crop demands, and precision UV light treatments can safely activate important characteristics in seeds and seedlings that make them more productive as they mature,” BioLumic chief executive Warren Bebb said in a statement.

Going forward, BioLumic plans to allocate a part of the corpus raised to enhance traditionally grown produce such as lettuce, broccoli, strawberries and tomatoes, as it plans to explore high-value crops, indoor farming, and protected-environment in the coming future.

“BioLumic’s groundbreaking, proprietary UV technology has the potential to significantly improve cannabis growth, vigor, and yield – promising an environmentally friendly,” Canopy Rivers business development director said in a statement on Wednesday last week.

BioLumic would have an immense opportunity to develop its cannabis crop yield with improved regulation on the cannabis usage as the projected to touch $146 billion by the end of 2025, according to a report by US-based research consulting Grand View Research.

For Canopy Rivers, this marks the first investment in agri-technologies, that is specifically focused on the promising fields of plant physiology and UV photobiology.