Yissum raising $5m for agro biotech

 

Yissum has already closed a $5 million fund for investment in life sciences companies, and now plans to replicate the success.

Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is raising $5 million to invest in agro biotechnology companies. Yissum has already closed a $5 million fund for investment in life sciences companies, and now plans to replicate the success.

The Hebrew University operates Israel's only Faculty of Agriculture, which employs serial entrepreneur Prof. Oded Shoseyov, whose ventures include CollPlant Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLPT), CBD Technologies Ltd., Fulcrum-SP Materials Ltd., T2 Biotech Ltd., Omer Therapeutics Ltd., and chemical toilet developer Paulee Cleantec Ltd. Another faculty member is Prof. Haim Rabinowitch, a tomato expert and the father of the cherry tomato.

"Agriculture is Israel's next mega-trend. If you compare the sector with another successful Israeli industry, the life sciences, agriculture offers opportunities almost at the same scale, but with investments whose financing Israel can digest, and at a lower level of risk that the life sciences. Ultimately, we can achieve higher multiples in agriculture," said Yissim president and CEO Yaacov Michlin. "The average investment in an agriculture product through marketing is $15 million."

Three deals by Monsanto Inc. (NYSE: MON) in the past few years highlight this point: a cooperation agreement with Evogene Ltd. (TASE:EVGN), worth tens of millions of dollars; the acquisition of the activity of Rosetta Green Ltd. (TASE: RSTG) for $35 million, three years after the company was founded; and the acquisition of BeeoLogics, reportedly for over $100 million, five years after it was founded.

On Sunday, Yissum will hold a conference on agro biotech at the Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot. Yissum will unveil the planned company and detail the technologies which will be included in in.