Crop Protection

Winners Announced: UPL Leads Significant Investment in Carbon & Soil Health Innovators, Advancing Mission to Reimagine Sustainability

Pluton BioSciences and Phospholutions are the Winners of the Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge by UPL

23 March 2022, London: UPL a global provider of sustainable agriculture products and solutions, and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform investing in

early-stage agriculture and food technologies, are thrilled to announce that Pluton BioSciences has won the Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge by UPL, securing $1M in funding, and that the Runner-up, Phospholutions, secured a $250k investment.

UPL partnered with Radicle Growth to provide a platform for trailblazing entrepreneurs who share UPL’s vision to reimagine sustainability for the role of decarbonisation in global agriculture. Participation was the highest to-date, with over 150 entries across 40 countries. The growing engagement around the Radicle Challenge speaks to the urgent need for transformational technologies that can advance climate-forward solutions across the food value chain.

Pluton Biosciences, a micro mining company looking to nature for cutting-edge biotech solutions, was selected as the 1st-place winner for discovering next-generation products for agriculture, biomaterials, and carbon sequestration. Steve Slater, CEO at Pluton Biosciences said:

We’re ecstatic that Pluton has been selected as the winner of the 2022 Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge by UPL! Carbon capture technology is critical to climate change mitigation and reversal. We are honored to be selected from this talented cohort of finalists, as this recognition by Radicle & UPL further validates our company’s mission and approach to developing products that feed the world while reversing climate change.”

Phospholutions, a technology company enhancing the efficiency of global phosphorus use, was selected as the 2nd-place winner for developing a responsible fertiliser additive designed to increase efficiency for farmers while lowering environmental impact. Hunter Swisher, CEO and Founder at Phospholutions said:

“We’re honoured to have participated in the Radicle Challenge alongside five great companies. The investment is another major milestone for Phospholutions as we work to enhance global phosphorus use. We look forward to partnering with the Radicle team and exploring potential partnerships with UPL.”

UPL is deeply committed to developing world-class technologies and solutions for sustainable agricultural production. Jai Shroff, Global CEO of UPL Ltd. said:

“Congratulations to Pluton Biosciences and Phospholutions – we are so excited to support these technologies and work together. Our OpenAg purpose is a commitment to collaboration, and to working with the next generation of agricultural start-ups to support and scale technologies that catalyse positive impact. The strength of the submissions we received has advanced our purpose in decarbonisation and redefining agriculture as a climate-positive force, and we are looking forward to seeing the growth of these first partnerships in the year ahead.”

This is the fourth year that Radicle Growth has combined forces with global industry leaders to discover and fund AgTech entrepreneurs. Kirk Haney, Managing Partner at Radicle Growth, is passionate about investing in farmers, a sustainable food system, and the planet:

“Food and agriculture production have a great opportunity to have a positive impact on climate change and this Radicle Challenge has given us access to the top entrepreneurs in the world using technology to reduce GHG emissions in food production. This is the 8th Radicle Challenge that we [Radicle Growth] have co-hosted, and it continues to be an impactful platform for driving global deal flow and funding the most impressive technologies reducing emissions across the food value chain.”

While only two winners were selected to secure funding, all finalists will benefit from exposure to Radicle Growth and UPL Ltd. executives, deep agricultural expertise, and global network of industry thought leaders with the opportunity to discuss their roadmaps for success.