Israeli agro-tech company Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies raised A$5 million in its IPO in Australia on Thursday at A$0.20 a share, and doubled its value to A$0.40 a share within two days of trading, reflected a market cap of A$24 million (NIS 65 million).
Roots has developed a unique environmentally friendly system that makes it possible to heat and cool crop roots with the use of a small amount of energy. Entrepreneur Boaz Wachtel and CEO Dr. Sharon Devir founded Roots in 2012. Wachtel is known in Israel as the founder of the Ale Yarok Party, which advocated the legalization of cannabis in Israel. Investors in Australia know him as someone who has already held IPOs for two medical cannabis companies: MMJ Phytotech and Creso Pharma.
According to Roots' announcement on the date of the IPO, the successful financing round puts the company in a strong position for continuing development and commercialization of its two pioneering technologies. "Roots will have a real hand in address the problem of the global imbalance between the supply of and demand for food, which is becoming more and more challenging, due to the increase in extreme weather and a decline in access to water and land for agriculture," Devir says, adding, "Being listed for trading in Australia is essential for our continued growth in a number of markets around the world." Australian investment bank EverBlu Capital led the round.
Beyond the initial technology developed by the company, which enables farmers to save on energy, Roots is working another technology for irrigation using only condensation. Roots reached the Australian stock exchange after raising NIS 8.6 million since it was founded. Wachtel is the largest shareholder in the company with a 7.9% stake (after the IPO). Roots had no revenue in the first half of 2017, and posted a A$197,000 loss. The company had A$753,000 in cash at the end of the period.
Roots is another in a series of Israeli companies listed in Australia, including, for example, Audio Pixels Holdings (ASX: AKP), Fluence Corp. (ASX: FLC), and Elsight Ltd. (ASX: ELS).
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on December 10, 2017
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