IOWA CITY, Iowa, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Asoyia has finalized an agreement with two key venture capital firms, securing $4 million to expand marketing, research and development of its ULTRA low linolenic soybean products. Asoyia is the innovator and leader in developing and providing the first and only commercially available soybean oils with the highest level of stability and zero trans fats per serving for the food industry. St. Louis-based Prolog Ventures led the round and was joined by LSP (Life Science Partners) of Boston.
Iowa-based Asoyia produces ULTRA Low Linolenic Soybean Oils (Asoyia-ULL) from the company's 1% ULTRA low linolenic soybeans. The innovative specialty soybeans keep the oil fresh and shelf-stable for two to three times longer than conventional oils thus eliminating the need for hydrogenation which creates trans fat. The FDA began requiring trans fat labeling on all packaged foods in 2006, fueling the food industry's demand for a viable non-hydrogenated oil alternative.
"The new partnership between Asoyia, Prolog and LSP is going to propel us from an established and growing entrepreneurial business into a major marketer of ULTRA low lin oil," said Greg Keeley, Asoyia CEO. "We have an incredibly good product and a demand that's been extremely strong due to the emphasis on health and wellness, the FDA's new labeling legislation, and the banning of trans fat containing oils in some communities like New York City. This will fund our passion for providing a viable, healthy alternative by giving us the working capital we need to bring the company to the next level of success."
Asoyia's ability to meet demand depends on the participation of farmers willing to grow a specialty identity-preserved soybean in lieu of commodity soybeans or corn. The infusion of funding will allow Asoyia's production division to develop an expanding business development team, as well as more delivery points throughout the Midwest. Asoyia will continue to work closely with various genetic suppliers of the 1% ULTRA low lin soybean genetics to develop additional new varieties with improved yield potential and various disease resistance characteristics. Additionally, Asoyia will be better able to capitalize on its strong foothold in the 1% ULTRA low lin soybean seed market by continuing to collaborate with several key seed partners to maximize distribution throughout the entire grain belt region.
"Now we'll be better able to inform farmers, and the agricultural industry in general, that we have a product that is not only unique and profitable, but also good for consumer health and the environment," Keeley explained.
"Asoyia's ULTRA low linolenic soybean products meet a critical need in the marketplace for trans-fat-free alternatives," said Dan Broderick, managing director of Prolog and new board member of Asoyia. "The company's proven products, combined with its seasoned management team, create a strong competitive 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 the company has already built a track record of success with key soybean oil customers and soybean growers. We look forward to helping Asoyia expand its reach to meet the growing demand for its products."
For more information about Asoyia and Asoyia products, call (877)276-9421 or visit http://www.asoyia.com.
Formed in 2004 by 25 Iowa farmers, Asoyia grows and processes 1% ULTRA low linolenic soybeans to produce specialty trans fat-free oils. The research, testing and expansion of Asoyia's soybean genetics dates back to the 1960s at Iowa State University, where Dr. Walt Fehr and his team developed the specialty 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 20 early-stage companies. The firm is managed by a team of professionals with extensive experience as both investors and entrepreneurs. Prolog focuses on traditional healthcare opportunities as well as emerging areas -- such as nutrition, wellness, plant science, and enabling platforms -- in which it has built one of the largest portfolios in the country. For more information on Prolog, visit http://www.PrologVentures.com.
LSP (Life Sciences Partners) is a leading independent venture capital firm, providing private equity financing to early- to mid-stage life-science companies. Since the late 1980s, LSP's management has invested in a large number of highly innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life-science industry. With more than $500 million under management and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of most experienced specialist life-science investors. Further information on Life Science Partners is available at http://www.lspvc.com.