top of page
MARCH 2022

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!

Apply to the Radicle Challenge

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, March 22, 2022 / — Radicle Growth, a company-building platform investing in early-stage agriculture and food technologies, and UPL, a global leader in sustainable agriculture solutions, 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.

Radicle Growth partnered with UPL, to provide a platform for trailblazing entrepreneurs who reimagining our agriculture system to play a significant role in global decarbonization. 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.

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 impressing technologies reducing emissions across the food value chain.”

A micro mining company looking to nature for cutting-edge biotech solutions, Pluton Biosciences was selected as the 1st-place winner of the Radicle Carbon & Soil Challenge by UPL, for discovering next-generation products for agriculture, biomaterials, and carbon sequestration.

A technology company enhancing the efficiency of global phosphorus use, Phospholutions, was selected as the 2nd-place winner of the Radicle Carbon & Soil Carbon by UPL, for developing a responsible fertilizer additive designed to increase efficiency for farmers while lowering environmental impact.

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.”

In addition to securing funding, Pluton Biosciences and Phospholutions, will accelerate their impact with access to Radicle and UPL’s deep agriculture expertise and global network of industry thought leaders and mentors.

UPL Ltd is deeply committed to offering world-class technologies and solutions for sustainable agriculture production. When asked about the opportunity to discover and partner with Agtech entrepreneurs spearheading innovative technologies around the world, Jai Schoff, 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.”

Hunter Swisher, CEO and Founder at Phospholutions said, “We’re honored 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.”

Six finalists of the Radicle Carbon and Soil Challenge by UPL pitched attendees in San Francisco, the epicenter of technological innovation. While only two winners were selected to secure funding, the rest of the finalists will benefit from exposure to Radicle Growth and UPL Ltd. executives, with the opportunity to discuss their roadmaps for success.

Transforming our food system.

bottom of page