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Water-saving technology firm seeks $10m – exclusive

Water&Soil, a Hungarian agtech firm that has invented a water-retaining solution for soil, is looking for $10m in private capital investment.

A Hungarian agriculture technology company has developed a liquid solution that maintains the humidity of the soil when applied to crop land resulting in more efficient use of available water.

Water&Soil has secured a contract with a Hungarian distributor and is now looking for around $10 million in private capital investment to help expand into other markets overseas.

“The company is ready to have investors but we haven’t yet started any steps to this end,” said Richard Vattay, director at the company. “But we are ready to welcome them.”

Until now, Water&Soil has been funded by its founders, who have run tests of the solution on a variety of different food crops.

“We can save up to 50 percent of irrigated water and extend between one and two times the amount of time that crops can survive without irrigation [such as during drought],” said Vattay.

Water&Soil was established to help mitigate the risks of climate change and an increasingly volatile weather system worldwide.

“The world is going to have heavier rains over shorter time periods, which can be more dangerous than it is useful, but also have longer, more frequent and more serious periods of drought. And the average temperature will increase,” said Vattay.

After gathering together a group of chemists, professors, microbiologists, agribusiness professionals and economists, Vattay and his partners developed an organic-based solution. The solution also allows any additional water applied to the soil, through rain or irrigation, to fall freely into the water table below.

The solution is effective for three months after application and helps make fertilisers, organic or chemical, more effective. “The solution retains humidity in the soil so that in turn helps plants take up the fertiliser,” said Vattay.

Water&Soil has a licence to sell the product in Hungary as a soil conditioner and is now starting to look at launching in other countries where similar licences will be needed.

The company is open to both private investment and strategic capital.