Dutch startup Solynta raises €21M to “unlock the true potential” of the humble potato;


With the current climate change impacting negatively on agriculture and food production, and the increase of the human population, thinking ahead to ensure food security is critical. This is where Dutch breeding and biotechnology company Solynta claims to make a difference.

The company is determined to drive sustainable improvements in world food security by unlocking the true potential of potatoes. It says, currently, potato is the 4th most produced food crop after corn, wheat, and rice and is increasing in importance globally due to its high nutritional value. And Solynta’s innovations can enable the development of potato hybrids that lead to sustainable potato yields worldwide, hence, enhancing the livelihood of producers around the globe.

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Solynta raises Series C round

In a recent development, Wageningen, the Netherlands-based company Solynta announced that it has raised €21M in its Series C round of funding from a consortium of investors.

The proceeds from this round will help Solynta to accelerate its growth, broaden product development, and to scale up the commercial organisation in order to address the challenges within the potato supply chain.

Speaking on the development, Hein Kruyt, Solynta’s CEO says, “With this funding round Solynta will be able to leverage its past successes and enhance its focus on down-stream activities. This will allow Solynta to aggressively speed up its product pipeline as well as its market-facing activities.”

Hybrid potato breeding company

Founded in 2007 by Hein Kruyt, Solynta develops superior GMO-free (Genetically Modified Organism) Hybrid True Potato Seeds (HTPS) using its hybrid breeding platform. This results in faster breeding, improved scalability, higher yields and less use of crop protection products.

Video credit: YouTube (Solynta)

Solynta’s innovation of hybrid potatoes makes it possible to distribute new potato varieties from clean disease-free true potato seed (TPS) instead of bulky and diseased seed tubers. This technology makes it possible to rapidly develop new potato varieties according to the needs of the market. The company mentions that new varieties using hybrid true potato seeds can be ramped up to commercial quantities 500 times faster than traditional potato seed tubers.

According to the company, only 25 grams of TPS is required, in comparison to 2,500 kgs of potato seed tubers, to plant one hectare of land. Moreover, Solynta says true seed is easier to store and cheaper to transport as compared to traditional seed tubers, which results in reducing environmental impact and improving sustainability.

Brief about the investors in this round

The current round saw investment from Innovation Industries and Fortissimo, among other investors.

Innovation Industries is a deep tech venture capital investor that invests up to €30M in hightech, agrifoodtech, and medtech companies. Currently, the firm manages over €275M across two funds and has a team of 15 investment professionals. Its largest investors are the Dutch pension funds PME and PMT. The venture capital invests from Seed to late stage and has partnerships with all Dutch technical universities and research institute TNO.

As for Fortissimo Capital, it is a private equity group, established in 2004, that invests primarily in technology and industrial companies. The firm has raised $1.6B across five funds, from global financial institutional investors. Some of Fortissimo’s portfolio companies are notable agritech companies such as Origene Seeds, Equinom, Afimilk, and Beewise, as well as many other technology and industrial companies.

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