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St. Pete company closes $10M+ funding round

Veronica Brezina



A crop field. Image: Phospholutions.

Agritech company Phospholutions, a sustainable fertilizer startup that recently opened a hub in St. Petersburg, has closed a $10.15 million oversubscribed funding round. 

New Orleans-based financing firm Advantage Capital lead the round. Previous leading global fertilizer companies and investors also participated in the round, including Conti Ventures (a division of Continental Grain Company), Tekfen Ventures, Maumee Ventures and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. The company also secured an investment from global fertilizer trader Keytrade AG. 

“We are pleased to welcome new investors like Advantage and Keytrade supporting our efforts to accelerate commercialization of our phosphate efficiency technology. Additionally, the continued support from our existing investors really fortifies what we are doing to bring new sustainable fertilizers to the U.S. farmer,” Jason Burke, VP of finance at Phospholutions, said in a prepared statement. 

To date, the company has raised over $22 million. Last year, Phospholutions raised $5.3 million with backing from Ospraie Ag Sciences, Bunge Ventures and crop protection company UPL Ltd. 

In 2021, Phospholutions raised $10.3 million in a Series A round led by the Continental Grain Company‘s CGC Ventures. 

The startup, founded in Pennslyvania, sells the product directly to producers to incorporate it into their production process, which results in higher efficiency fertilizer; it’s then sold through the channels, making its way to farmers.  

Phospholutions CEO Hunter Swisher. Image provided.

Phospholutions CEO Hunter Swisher announced on LinkedIn that new funding will accelerate the commercialization of the company’s patented RhizoSorb fertilizer. The company claims the product is the first patented fertilizer additive proven to reduce phosphorus fertilizer applications by 50% without compromising yield, saving a farmer on average 10% per acre.

It works by releasing nutrients based on a chemical gradient in the soil, leading to better availability throughout the season. It has been tested on row crops including corn, soybean, wheat, barley, sunflower, chickpea, rice and turfgrass.  

“This pioneering solution offers producers an opportunity to embrace sustainable technology and enhance conventional fertilizer production while also extending the value to the farmer, creating a more environmentally friendly and economically viable approach,” Melih Keyman, President and CEO of Keytrade Ag, shared in a statement. 

According to Phospholutions, inefficient fertilizer use causes excess nutrients, such as phosphorus, to enter water resources, causing harmful algae blooms and contributing to water quality degradation of the Earth’s freshwater. 

While there are robust agricultural business sectors in other metros, such as Raleigh, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Denver, Swisher selected St. Pete for the company’s second office due to the environmental needs throughout the state, and the local talent base. 

“Although St. Pete isn’t a major agriculture hub, it is where domestic phosphate production is happening and it positions us for growth,” Swisher previously said. “Red tide and green tide are usually directly associated with nutrient pollution, of which phosphate has been the largest contributor.” 

The St. Pete office opened in 2022 at 360 Central Ave., in downtown’s First Central Tower. 

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