LA MADELEINE, FRANCE, and GIVAT BRENNER, ISRAEL — Roquette, a global supplier of plant-based ingredients, and Equinom Ltd., an Israeli-based breeding technology company, have entered a multi-year partnership agreement to develop and source pea varieties with high protein content. In addition, Roquette and Fortissimo Capital, an Equinom shareholder, jointly will invest $4 million in Equinom.
“The agreement will guarantee the full commercialization of Equinom’s high-protein pea varieties,” said Gil Shalev, founder and chief executive officer of Equinom.
Equinom, founded in 2012, is developing a portfolio of legumes that have 50% more protein than current varieties.
“This investment represents a great partnership and a major step forward in the implementation of the (Roquette) group’s strategy in plant-based proteins,” said Pascal Leroy, vice-president of Roquette’s pea and new protein business line. “It enables Roquette to position itself as a pioneer in the whole value chain for plant-based proteins.”
A proprietary software-based breeding system allows Equinom to introduce key traits in crops in record time, said Yoav Hineman, a partner at Fortissimo Capital, a private equity fund in Israel.
“Since inception, Equinom introduced varieties in sesame that can be harvested mechanically, protein-rich legumes, high-yield quinoa and is currently targeting additional crops,” he said.