BioLumic's Proprietary Technology Harnesses the Power of UV Light to Sustainably Improve Crop Performance and Yield
TORONTO and PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand, May 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - BioLumic Ltd. ("BioLumic"), creators of a sustainable ultraviolet (UV) crop yield enhancement system, and Canopy Rivers Inc. ("Canopy Rivers") (RIV.V), (CNPOF) today announced a strategic investment from Canopy Rivers. BioLumic extended the Finistere Ventures-led Series A financing round to include Canopy Rivers' strategic investment of US$1.5 million, closing the oversubscribed round at US$6.7 million. The financing was comprised of a tier-one investor roster that also included Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund and Radicle Growth acceleration fund.
This marks Canopy Rivers' first investment in agri-technologies, specifically focused on the promising fields of plant physiology and UV photobiology. With extensive global trials in traditional and high-value produce crops already underway, BioLumic will use the added investment to grow its team to support the acceleration and expansion of its UV light treatment initiatives, including applications in the medical cannabis market.
"Canopy Rivers' mission is to build and support a thriving global cannabis economy, and we are dedicated to identifying and investing in strategic technology players throughout the legal cannabis value chain," stated Mary Dimou, Director, Business Development, Canopy Rivers. "Led by an exceptional management team, BioLumic's groundbreaking, proprietary UV technology has the potential to significantly improve cannabis growth, vigor and yield – promising an environmentally friendly, GM-free cannabis crop through the power of light."
Already demonstrating game-changing results in produce-crop trials around the globe, BioLumic's UV light treatments deliver long-term crop benefits such as improved crop consistency, increased yield, drought tolerance, and disease and pest resistance. With the global legal cannabis market expected to top $146 billion by the end of 2025 and increasing legalization of cannabis usage and farming around the globe, BioLumic aims to help commercial producers cultivate stronger, healthier plants to meet the rising demand for cannabis and cannabis-derived products in the regulated medical cannabis market.
"Growers need more sustainable ways to meet global crop demands, and precision UV light treatments can safely activate important characteristics in seeds and seedlings that make them more productive as they mature," said BioLumic CEO Warren Bebb. "Canopy Rivers' extensive network in the cannabis industry and its ecosystem of companies will open a new, strategic market for BioLumic. Given our results with other flowering crops, the cannabis plant is a natural fit for our technology."
Building out its data science and machine learning teams, BioLumic will use the funding to accelerate the research and commercialization of its UV light crop yield enhancement system – with a focus on developing cannabis-specific UV treatments to improve yield and increase the concentration of cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD). It will continue to focus on traditionally grown produce such as lettuce, broccoli, strawberries and tomatoes, and increase its focus on seed treatments for row crops. The company plans to explore indoor farming and protected-environment, high-value crops in the future.
Canopy Rivers is proud to collaborate with BioLumic and its leading agtech venture partners to extend BioLumic's commercial and propriety agri-technologies for potential application in the medical cannabis sector. Finistere Ventures, focused on agtech and supported by industry leaders like Bayer and Nutrien, works closely with its extensive network in the ag and food space to help commercialize innovations at a global scale. Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund was launched by Rabobank, a global leader in food and agriculture financing, and invests in high-potential, early-stage food and agriculture companies.
Dr. Adrian Percy, newly appointed CTO of Finistere Ventures and the former head of R&D for the Crop Science Division of Bayer, has joined the Board as Chairman, while Finistere's Arama Kukutai will stay on as a Board Observer. As part of the investment, Canopy Rivers' Mary Dimou will join the BioLumic Board as an Observer. Dean Tilyard, CEO of The Factory in Palmerston North, New Zealand, will also join the Board.
"It is exciting to consider the broad range of benefits that BioLumic technology can offer to both seed producers and growers across a range of crops – from improved yield and consistency to reduction, and potentially replacement, of certain chemical and biological inputs," noted Percy.
BioLumic harnesses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light to empower growers and seed producers around the globe. Clean, green and GM-free, BioLumic's pioneering technology activates natural mechanisms in seeds and seedlings that increase plant growth, vigor, and natural defense mechanisms — resulting in increased yields at harvest. Backed by top Ag investors, BioLumic is headquartered in New Zealand and is actively growing its presence in North America. To learn more, visit www.biolumic.com.
About Canopy Rivers
Canopy Rivers is a unique investment and operating platform structured to pursue investment opportunities in the emerging global cannabis sector. Canopy Rivers works collaboratively with Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED, NYSE: CGC) to identify strategic counterparties seeking financial and/or operating support. Canopy Rivers has developed an investment ecosystem of complementary cannabis operating companies that represent various segments of the value chain across the emerging cannabis sector. As the portfolio continues to develop, constituents will be provided with opportunities to work with Canopy Growth and collaborate among themselves, which Canopy Rivers believes will maximize value for its shareholders and foster an environment of innovation, synergy and value creation for the entire ecosystem. For more information, visit www.canopyrivers.com.
This news release contains statements which constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of Canopy Rivers with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Forward-looking information is often identified by the words "may", "would", "could", "should", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" or similar expressions and includes information regarding: BioLumic's use of the invested funds; the application and benefits of BioLumic's technology on cannabis and other crops; the promising fields of plant physiology and photobiology; the ability of Canopy Rivers' network and ecosystem to open a new, strategic market for BioLumic; the size of the global legal cannabis market and global legalization of cannabis usage and farming; Canopy Rivers' mission and strategy to identify and invest in the legal cannabis value chain; Director and Board Observer appointments; and other expectations regarding economic, business, and/or competitive factors.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking information is not based on historical facts but instead reflects management's expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although Canopy Rivers believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, such information involves risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such information, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of Canopy Rivers. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information are the following: regulatory and licensing risks; BioLumic's capital requirements; the use and impact of BioLumic's technology on cannabis and other crops; developments in the fields of plant physiology and photobiology; the ability of BioLumic and Canopy Rivers to collaborate; opportunities for investment in the legal cannabis value chain; changes in Director and/or Board Observer appointments; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; the global regulatory landscape and enforcement related to cannabis, including political risks and risks relating to regulatory change; risks relating to anti-money laundering laws; compliance with extensive government regulation; public opinion and perception of the cannabis industry; and the risk factors set out in Canopy Rivers' final short form prospectus dated February 21, 2019, filed with Canadian securities regulators and available on Canopy Rivers' profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although Canopy Rivers has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Canopy Rivers does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward-looking information except as otherwise required by applicable law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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