Fertilizers have come under sharper focus this year as Russia's war in Ukraine interrupted global supply chains of traditional fertilizers such as potash, urea, and ammonia — and prices subsequently spiked.
Investors and startups reacted, supporting alternative solutions. Aqua-Yield cashed in a $23 million Series A to scale its "nanoliquid" technology. The product helps plants better absorb liquid inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. According to the startup, the innovation allows farmers to cut their inputs by 25 to 50 percent without sacrificing yield.
In San Francisco, Nitricity has developed a technology that produces nitrogen fertilizer from only air, water, and renewable energy and raised $20.8 million. It promises to decentralize and electrify nitrogen production and operates two pilot facilities in California.
Pivot Bio also delivered an innovation on the nitrogen front. It launched a new class of nitrogen fertilizer that's added directly onto the seed before farmers purchase them. According to the startup, this innovation leads to more efficient applications and healthier, more resilient crops. It could help farmers worldwide move away from synthetic nitrogen fertilizers that often leak into the surrounding environment.
In a circular motion, Finnish cleantech startup Tracegrow derives certified organic fertilizer from used alkaline batteries. It welcomed an undisclosed funding round from Nordic Food Tech VC this summer. The circular innovation will feed right into the EU's strategy to increase organic production.
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