Qarbotech, a leading Malaysia-based agritech startup, has raised US$700,000 (RM3.27 million in seed funding and grants. The round was led by multi-stage venture capital firm, 500 Global, and includes innovation grants from the Temasek Foundation for winning the Climate Impact Innovations Challenge 2023, and Khazanah Nasional’s Dana Impak for winning the Khazanah Impact Innovation Challenge (KIIC) 2023.

Qarbotech’s patented photosynthesis enhancement nanotechnology is an on-plant or in-soil solution that boosts agricultural productivity – increasing crop yields by up to 60 percent. The company’s unique formulation contains biocompatible organic compounds with properties similar to chlorophyll, thus increasing the photosynthesis rate of leafy plants.

By optimising photosynthetic efficiency and shortening growth cycles, farmers and growers of all sizes can enhance their crop yield.

Chor Chee Hoe, CEO and co-founder of Qarbotech said, “As the industry’s most accessible photosynthesis enhancer, we are pioneering a new and disruptive solution that will reshape conventional approaches to farming. The strategic support from our investors propels us towards scalable growth, but more importantly, allows us to empower more farmers around the world to feed the rest of us.”

With this round of financing, Qarbotech will make significant investments in strengthening their research & development, and expand its manufacturing facility to produce up to 50 times its current capacity to serve farmers and growers in new markets across Southeast Asia.

“Qarbotech’s journey, from the labs of the university to the fields of commercial farms, shows the transformative power that research and innovation can have in our lives.

“This milestone not only signifies Qarbotech’s commitment to driving positive change through science, but is also a proud moment for Universiti Putra Malaysia, where our groundbreaking research took root and flourished,” said Dr. Suraya Abdul Rashid, chief scientist and founder of Qarbotech, and deputy director at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

“Agriculture is an industry that’s ripe for investments. When we have the privilege to meet a team that’s catalyzing a step change for farmers, we back them. Qarbotech’s technology has exciting potential to solve the global food security challenge of the world’s growing population, of which about 30% do not have food security. We believe that when Qarbotech wins, these 2.3 billion people win too,” shared Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Global.

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