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Israeli Agricultural Technology Firm Kaiima Raises $65M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Israeli seed and breeding technology firm Kaiima Bio Agri-Tech today announced it closed on a financing round that raised US$65 million.

Three new investors participated in the round — Horizons Ventures; the International Financial Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group; and the Infinity Group. Participating existing investors included Draper Fisher Jurvetson; DFJ-Tamir Fishman Ventures; Mitsui Global Investment; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Oberlee; and Musea Ventures.

Kaiima did not specify how the financing will be used.

The company's main technology is called Enhanced Ploidy, which it said "multiplies the plant's genome without compromising its integrity." The technology is implemented within the genome of crops to improve productivity and land and water-use efficiencies.

Enhanced Ploidy has been demonstrated by Kaiima in crops that include wheat, maize, rapeseed, and castor, the company said.

"By 2050, farmers will be tasked to produce 70 percent more food than they do today to sustain the growing world population,” Kaiima CEO Doron Gal said in a statement. "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."

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