- US-based sustainable fertilizer startup Phospholutions has secured an additional $10.15 million, bringing its total funding to date to $32.5 million.
- Advantage Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Conti Ventures (a division of Continental Grain Company), Tekfen Ventures, Maumee Ventures, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
- Global fertilizer trader Keytrade joined as a new investor.
- Phospholutions will accelerate commercialization of its RhizoSorb fertilizer additive in the US and expand field trials of it in 2024 to other countries.
Why it matters
Phosphorus is critical for plant growth but hazardous to planetary health when misapplied or used in excess on crops.
As Phospholutions’ founder and CEO Hunter Swisher told AgFunderNews last year, plants take up just 10% to 30% of what we apply to them in the first year; the rest gets lost in waterways or stuck in the soil in an unavailable form.
Conversely, farmers in some parts of the world struggle to access enough phosphorous to meet demand for food production.
Phospholutions developed its fertilizer additive, RhizoSorb, in response to such problems, and the company claims the additive can reduce phosphorus fertilizer applications by 50% without impacting yield.
The patented RhizoSorb gets built into granules and can be applied like traditional fertilizers. Once applied, RhizoSorb lesses the amount of phosphorus that leaches or gets tied up in the soil and improves delivery of it and other nutrients to the plant.
RhizoSorb can reduce phosphate runoff potential by 58%, leaching by 87%, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional use of traditional monoammonium phosphate sources by more than half, according to the company.
“We enable these global ag companies and fertilizer manufacturers to take half [their normal] amount of fertilizer and service the same number of acres,” Swisher told AFN.
RhizoSorb 8-39-0 launched in the US row crop market this past spring. Phospholutions has also tested the product with farmers in India, New Zealand, Turkey and parts of Africa. So far, the company has tested RhizoSorb on corn, soybean, wheat, barley, sunflower, chickpea, rice and turfgrass.
The new funding will go towards further commercialization of RhizoSorb in the US row crop market as well as field trials in China, Brazil, and Canada during the 2024 growing season.