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BASF invests in Israeli AgTech startup Equinom

BASF Venture Capital is the lead investor in a funding round for Israeli AgTech startup Equinom.

Equinom’s computerised breeding technology provides optimised seeds for the food industry.

Crossbreeding plants for targeted characteristics

Equinom’s bioinformatics-based technology accelerates seed breeding. “We strategically crossbreed plants for targeted characteristics, often reintroducing important characteristics that have been inadvertently bred out of ordinary varieties – to produce crops with highly desirable traits,” explains Gil Shalev, CEO of Equinom.

He adds: “Our proprietary computer algorithm and big data meet crop yield, quality and trait objectives in a way that no other seed-breeding company has done before, which also cuts time to market by years.”

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Equinom’s high-oil-content sesame enables flexible cultivation options. Shatter-resistant sesame, one of Equinom’s flagship crops, can be harvested mechanically and grown around the world. - Photo: Equinom
Equinom’s high-oil-content sesame enables flexible cultivation options. Shatter-resistant sesame, one of Equinom’s flagship crops, can be harvested mechanically and grown around the world. - Photo: Equinom

Algorithm determines ideal breeding combination

The Equinom algorithm analyses the genomic characteristics from its database of thousands of plants to determine the ideal breeding combination to achieve the desired properties.

The system evaluates millions of possible combinations to design optimised seeds that focus on protein, oil or nutrient content, seeds’ functionality, plant yield, disease resistance and other qualities. Equinom then uses the conventional method to crossbreed the plants whose genetic codes complement each other best.

Using this exclusive technology and approach, the startup selectively optimises varieties targeted to food producers’ needs, by creating an application-based solution.

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