Canopy Rivers Backs BioLumic - AgTech for the Medical Cannabis Industry

Published: May 16, 2019

BioLumic Ltd., creators of a sustainable ultraviolet (UV) crop yield enhancement system, and Canopy Rivers Inc. 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.