By HappyValley Industry Staff
Phospholutions Inc., a pioneer in sustainable fertilizer technology, just announced an additional $10.15M investment from leading global fertilizer companies and investors to accelerate the commercialization of RhizoSorb® in the US row crop market. The financing was led by Advantage Capital and includes continued investment from Conti Ventures (a division of Continental Grain Company), Tekfen Ventures, Maumee Ventures, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Keytrade, a global fertilizer trader, also joins as a new investor.
“We are pleased to welcome new investors like Advantage and Keytrade supporting our efforts to accelerate the commercialization of our phosphate efficiency technology. Additionally, the continued support from our existing investors really fortifies what we are doing to bring new sustainable fertilizers to the U.S. farmer,” says Jason Burke, Vice President of Finance at Phospholutions.
The company was started in 2016 by Hunter Swisher when he was a senior at Penn State. Swisher says he took full advantage of the resources and opportunities available to Happy Valley innovators and entrepreneurs, participating in Invent Penn State Summer Founder’s program, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners TechCelerator and the Happy Valley LaunchBox FastTrack Accelerator. He competed in the 2018 Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference Tech Tournament, where he won first place and $75,000.
“The network in Happy Valley has been integral in our success to date,” he said when the company received its first round of Series A funding in 2021. “Ben Franklin Technology Partners was integral to our early success. The mentorship provided a fast track for building a business plan, establishing a go-to-market strategy, and licensing patents from PSU. The funding provided the resources to execute on that first set of milestones often deemed too risky for venture investment. Through the resources and early-stage funding provided by Ben Franklin, we were able to attract more institutional capital from outside Pennsylvania.”
The network in Happy Valley and Ben Franklin Technology Partners have been integral to our early success.
The company’s signature technology, RhizoSorb®, is a soil amendment or fertilizer additive used to efficiently deliver phosphorus and other nutrients to crops. Phospholutions’ technology has been proven to reduce the environmental impact of phosphate fertilizer by reducing runoff potential by 58%, leaching by 87%, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the conventional use of traditional monoammonium phosphate sources by more than half.
“We are thrilled to engage in the advancement of the fertilizer industry and to invest in a company dedicated to shaping the future of phosphorus. This pioneering solution offers producers an opportunity to embrace sustainable technology and enhance conventional fertilizer production while also extending the value to the farmer, creating a more environmentally friendly and economically viable approach,” says Melih Keyman, President and CEO of Keytrade Ag.
Phospholutions was recently awarded 1st place in the International Fertilizer Association’s African Agtech Startup Showcase hosted in partnership by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). The competition was aimed at Agtech startups working on innovative solutions that can be adapted to the African context to ensure the sustainability and inclusivity of its agriculture. This prize further validates both the need for more sustainable fertilizer technologies globally and Phospholutions' commitment to improving food security through more efficient use of fertilizer.
RhizoSorb has been proven to benefit farmers in five countries outside the US including India, New Zealand, and Turkey. The company will be expanding field trials into China, Brazil, and Canada during the 2024 growing season.