India/UK-based agri-genomics startup, Piatrika Biosystems, has raised $1.2 million in a seed round led by Ankur Capital.
The company is bringing sustainable seeds and agri chemicals to market faster and cheaper. The investment will be used to build a strong product development team, and also for more profound research.
Founded in 2019 by Vasudev Kumanduri and Phani Yarlagadda, Piatrika Biosystems is also building a new innovative cloud-based enterprise platform-as-a-service (PAAS) for agri-genomic discoveries and plant breeding decision support, programme designing, and monitoring.
The company aims to bridge the gap between scientific research and commercial enterprise solutions, it said.
Quoting Vasudev Kumanduri, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Piatrika Biosystems, the statement said there remains a significant disconnect between research and its practical implementation.
“While there has been ground-breaking research in recent years in computational biology/genomics, data science, cloud and instrumentation, this important knowledge has not been applied in a timely practical manner in agriculture. There is an urgent need to translate these research advances into practical benefit for the agriculturist, the consumer and ultimately the planet through modern, sustainable and ethical food production,” he said.
Phani Gopal Yarlagadda, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Piatrika Biosystems, said weather, war, and viruses have disrupted global food systems. This has put immense pressure to produce more food using less resources. Seed companies and agri-research institutes are looking for affordable enterprise grade plug-in solutions to optimize the processes involved in taking a seed from lab to farmer, Yarlagadda said.
Ritu Verma, Partner, Ankur Capital, said: “We are excited to partner with Piatrika on their journey to enable and create new seeds through computational biology. With the challenges that agriculture faces both from climate and increased food demand, innovation in the seed sector is critical. With advances in computational biology we see this as a critical tool to bring new seeds to market quickly.”