Swedish agtech startup OlsAro bags €2.5M to develop its AI-enabled crop-breeding platform

|

|

Last update:

Gothenburg-based OlsAro, an agtech startup focused on developing wheat varieties resilient to climate stresses such as salt, heat and drought, has secured €2.5M in funding. 

Future Food Fund and PINC, Paulig’s venture arm, led the investment. AgFunder, Flora Ventures, and Mudcake also participated in the round.

Previously, OlsAro received backing from entities like GU Ventures, Vasa Angels, and Öste Ventures.

Food security through diversity and AI

According to a statement by Paulig, climate change worsens food shortages by salting croplands due to rising sea levels, flooding, and unsustainable farming, mainly affecting Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa.

OlsAro’s engineered wheat varieties boost global food access by thriving in tough conditions, including saline land left fallow during dry seasons. 

In Bangladesh, initial tests show a 52 per cent increase in wheat yields, enabling farmers to add an extra crop season to their cycle.

- A message from our partner -

Marika King, Head of PINC, says, “Their results are impressive. Food security matters to all of us, and the OlsAro team can speed up solutions for wheat in several areas with their platform, and also for other crops in the future.”

“The combination of the long-term scientific experience in molecular biology and the modern ways of handling data and AI is a key strength at OlsAro and we are excited to see what the team can create going forward.”

AI-enabled crop development

Founded by Henrik Aronsson and Olof Olsson, OlsAro is focused on tackling the challenges posed by a growing global population and shrinking arable land.

The company has developed a genetic crop breeding platform, starting with wheat varieties that can thrive in salty conditions. This could allow farmers to grow crops in places previously unsuitable for agriculture, potentially adding extra growing seasons. 

OlsAro’s ultimate goal is to adapt this technology to benefit a wide range of crops, addressing the broader impacts of climate change on fertile land.

OlsAro claims that its platform accelerates the development of new wheat varieties three times faster than traditional methods, leveraging over 10 years of research and a diverse proprietary wheat collection. 

This collection enables the identification of traits customised to withstand harsh climates, improve nitrogen efficiency, and enhance wheat’s nutritional content.

Elén Faxö, CEO of OlsAro, says, “With our technology backed by 10 years of research, we’re now in a unique position to leverage the advancements in AI and plant biotechnology, secure intellectual property and to make a real impact on global food security.”

Capital utilisation

The investment from PINC will support OlsAro in scaling up its technological and commercial initiatives.

CEO Faxö says, “This funding will allow us to put a foot on the pedal and scale up our efforts, both technologically and commercially. We are proud of the great investor consortium believing in us, and their experience and networks will help make this happen.”

OlsAro has secured a commercial contract for its salt-tolerant wheat in Bangladesh and is conducting field trials in Pakistan, Kenya, Oman, and Nepal. 

The company’s next focus is to expand into Australia and India, targeting markets with extensive agricultural land affected by salinity degradation.

Topics:

Follow us:

Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

Share to...