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AgFunder News: Elo Life Systems raises $20.5m in series A2, aims to launch natural sweetener in 2026: ‘Everyone is trying to reduce sugar’

January 24, 2024

By: Elaine Watson

North Carolina-based Elo Life Systems has closed a $20.5 million Series A2 round to accelerate the development of a natural high-intensity sweetener and Cavendish bananas engineered to resist the devastating Fusarium wilt fungal disease (TR4).

The financing was led by existing investors Novo Holdings and DCVC Bio. They were joined by AccelR8, Hanwha Next Generation Opportunity Fund, and Alexandria Venture Investments, taking Elo Life’s total funding to $45 million.

The capital injection will help the startup scale and commercialize its sweetener, increase its pipeline, and expand its crop protection and productivity efforts.

Elo to commercialize new high-intensity plant-based sweetener in 2025 with sweeter, cleaner taste than monk fruit extractsHigh intensity natural sweetener

Elo Life—which was spun out of biotech firm Precision Bio in December 2021—deploys a variety of plant breeding technologies including a propriety gene editing platform called ARCUS.

It is best known for its work with Dole to retool the DNA of the ubiquitous Cavendish banana variety to resist Fusarium wilt (TR4). However, its first product is a plant-based high intensity sweetener (mogroside V- 200-300x sweetener than sugar), which has historically been sourced from monk fruit, a type of melon that only grows in a remote area of China, putting its price tag out of reach for many food and beverage manufacturers.

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