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BioLumic, creator of the world’s first crop-yield enhancement system using UV light, has announced the close of US$5 million [NZ$6.5m] in Series A funding. 
This significant round of financial backing comes from leading global AgTech investors Finistere Ventures and Radicle Growth acceleration fund, along with Rabobank’s recently-launched Food & Agri Innovation Fund and existing investors from across New Zealand.
Addressing the global need for increased agricultural crop yields, BioLumic treats seedlings and seeds with its proprietary ultraviolet light systems. Its patented technology precisely applies UV light treatments to deliver long-term crop benefits — including improved crop consistency, increased yield and disease resistance. 
Already in commercial trials with large-scale produce growers around the globe, BioLumic has worked with large-scale produce growers and processors in the UK, California and Mexico achieving yield gains of up to 22 percent. Further commercial trials are underway in Spain and the UK. 
“Light is an extremely powerful biological tool that can safely manipulate plants without the concerns associated with genetic modification or chemical usage” BioLumic CEO Warren Bebb says. “BioLumic is the only company using light as an ag treatment at the beginning of a plant’s life. Exposure to a short-duration treatment of UV-enriched light at a critical stage in a plant’s development turns on characteristics to help the seed or seedling more effectively defend itself against disease or pest attacks, and more efficiently use water and nutrients from the soil for its entire lifespan.” 
BioLumic was founded by Dr. Jason Wargent, a world-renowned photobiologist specialising in UV/plant interactions, and spun out of leading AgTech research from Massey University in Palmerston North with support from local incubator BCC and seed funding from MIGAngels. The technology is the result of more than a decade of Dr. Wargent’s research into UV photomorphogenesis, a process whereby a precise UV treatment induces plant root and leaf development and activates secondary metabolism. 
BioLumic’s growing team of scientists and engineers are now translating Wargent’s scientific discoveries into commercial products that will reshape crop-growing around the world. 
View this video to experience the BioLumic UV crop yield enhancement system. 
Photo: Warren Bebb (left) and Dr. Jason Wargent.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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