MOSHAV SHARONA, Israel, September 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
New Investors Include: Horizons Ventures, IFC (of the World Bank Group) and Infinity Group
Kaiima Bio-Agritech Ltd., an innovative Israel-based seed-and-breeding technology company, announced today it has raised more than US$65 million in equity from three new investors as well as some current ones. The three new investors are: Horizons Ventures, which manages the private investments of Mr. Li Ka-shing in Internet and technology globally; the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and Infinity Group, the leading cross-border, China-focused, private equity fund and innovation platform. Existing investors include: DFJ, DFJ-Tamir Fishman, Mitsui, KPCB, Oberlee and Musea Ventures.
Kaiima's proprietary Enhanced Ploidy technology (EP™) multiplies the plant's genome without compromising its integrity. This non-GMO technology is implemented within the genome of crops that are vital to global food security as well as specific energy crops, to significantly boost productivity and improve land and water-use efficiencies.
"We are pleased that Horizons, the IFC, and Infinity Group have chosen to join our investor family as they recognize the value that Kaiima's technology can bring to the world," said Jeffrey Beard, chairman of Kaiima. "Rather than protect against yield loss, as many GM technologies are designed to do, Kaiima's non-GMO technology is the first since hybridization that actually boosts yield."
"By 2050, farmers will be tasked to produce 70% more food than they do today to sustain the growing world population," said Dr. Doron Gal, chief executive officer of Kaiima. "This is a daunting challenge that modern agricultural technology must rise up to meet. The strategic alliance we have formed with our new investors fuels our rapid advances in yield enhancement technology, and positions Kaiima to become an outstanding participant in the global fight against hunger."
"The fastest growth in demand for food and subsequently the greatest opportunity for crop yield enhancements exists in the emerging markets," said Ruzgar Barisik, investment officer at IFC. "Technology innovation is creating the means for enhancing food production to meet the increasing demand for food while limiting the impact on the environment, a critical objective during times of climate change."
"Addressing the mounting threat to global food security is a key challenge for our times," said Jason Wong, managing director at Horizons Ventures. "Kaiima's unique technology can help by increasing agricultural productivity at the fundamental seed level."
"Infinity's investment in Kaiima is at the heart of its strategy to invest in world-leading Israeli technology companies with high impact potential in the Chinese market," said Mark Chess, a managing director at Infinity Group. "We are convinced that Kaiima's technology is a game changer for the agricultural industry. With China's increasing urbanization and growing middle class, the requirement for a significantly greater food supply is a critical imperative. Kaiima's ability to increase yield and food production for major crops such as wheat, corn and rice provides a tremendous opportunity. Infinity is honored to collaborate with its new co-investors IFC and Horizons Ventures to assist Kaiima in its pursuit of global opportunities."
Kaiima, whose name in Hebrew means sustainability, is an innovative Israel-based, seed and breeding-technology company. Kaiima's mission is to help feed the world and energize it by introducing new varieties of key agricultural crops, specifically designed for sustainable agriculture, with vastly improved yields. EP™ has been successfully demonstrated by Kaiima in several crops, including wheat, maize, rapeseed and castor. Early investors in Kaiima include DFJ, DFJ-Tamir Fishman, KPCB, Oberlee, and Musea Ventures. For more information, please visit http://www.kaiima.com.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, their investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org.
About Horizons Ventures
Based in Hong Kong, Horizons Ventures manages the Internet and technology investments of Mr. Li Ka-shing globally, including investments in companies such as Skype, Facebook, Spotify, Siri, Waze, UMPay and SecondMarket.
About Infinity Group
Infinity Group, which in 2013 is celebrating 10 years of actively working in China, is a cross-border platform known for its strong roots in China. Infinity Group currently manages over US$1B and 100 portfolio companies, through dollar denominated funds, as well as 17 RMB funds throughout China, making Infinity the owner of more RMB funds than any other foreign PE fund in China. Infinity to date has made 100 deals and 25 successful exits. Sectors of focus include: information technology, medical device and services, water clean tech, agriculture and materials. Infinity Group is backed by global investors such as the China Development Bank and Clal Industries, an Israel-based conglomerate. For more information, please visit http://www.infinity-equity.com.
SOURCE Kaiima Bio-Agritech Ltd