IOWA CITY, Iowa, May 1 Asoyia has finalized an agreementwith two key venture capital firms, securing $4 million to expand marketing,research and development of its ULTRA low linolenic soybean products. Asoyiais the innovator and leader in developing and providing the first and onlycommercially available soybean oils with the highest level of stability andzero trans fats per serving for the food industry. St. Louis-based PrologVentures led the round and was joined by LSP (Life Science Partners) ofBoston.
Iowa-based Asoyia produces ULTRA Low Linolenic Soybean Oils (Asoyia-ULL)from the company's 1% ULTRA low linolenic soybeans. The innovative specialtysoybeans keep the oil fresh and shelf-stable for two to three times longerthan conventional oils thus eliminating the need for hydrogenation whichcreates trans fat. The FDA began requiring trans fat labeling on all packagedfoods in 2006, fueling the food industry's demand for a viablenon-hydrogenated oil alternative.
"The new partnership between Asoyia, Prolog and LSP is going to propel usfrom an established and growing entrepreneurial business into a major marketerof ULTRA low lin oil," said Greg Keeley, Asoyia CEO. "We have an incrediblygood product and a demand that's been extremely strong due to the emphasis onhealth and wellness, the FDA's new labeling legislation, and the banning oftrans fat containing oils in some communities like New York City. This willfund our passion for providing a viable, healthy alternative by giving us theworking capital we need to bring the company to the next level of success."
Asoyia's ability to meet demand depends on the participation of farmerswilling to grow a specialty identity-preserved soybean in lieu of commoditysoybeans or corn. The infusion of funding will allow Asoyia's productiondivision to develop an expanding business development team, as well as moredelivery points throughout the Midwest. Asoyia will continue to work closelywith various genetic suppliers of the 1% ULTRA low lin soybean genetics todevelop additional new varieties with improved yield potential and variousdisease resistance characteristics. Additionally, Asoyia will be better ableto capitalize on its strong foothold in the 1% ULTRA low lin soybean seedmarket by continuing to collaborate with several key seed partners to maximizedistribution throughout the entire grain belt region.
"Now we'll be better able to inform farmers, and the agricultural industryin general, that we have a product that is not only unique and profitable, butalso good for consumer health and the environment," Keeley explained.
"Asoyia's ULTRA low linolenic soybean products meet a critical need in themarketplace for trans-fat-free alternatives," said Dan Broderick, managingdirector of Prolog and new board member of Asoyia. "The company's provenproducts, combined with its seasoned management team, create a strongcompetitive edge for Asoyia."
Jorg Riesmeier, general partner at LSP and new Asoyia board member said,"LSP is very excited to be part of the Series A round in Asoyia, as thecompany has already built a track record of success with key soybean oilcustomers and soybean growers. We look forward to helping Asoyia expand itsreach to meet the growing demand for its products."
For more information about Asoyia and Asoyia products, call (877)276-9421or visit http://www.asoyia.com.
Formed in 2004 by 25 Iowa farmers, Asoyia grows and processes 1% ULTRA lowlinolenic soybeans to produce specialty trans fat-free oils. The research,testing and expansion of Asoyia's soybean genetics dates back to the 1960s atIowa State University, where Dr. Walt Fehr and his team developed thespecialty soybean.
About Prolog Ventures
Prolog is a venture capital firm specializing in life science investing.Since its launch in 2001, Prolog has financed more than