AgTech Roots plants a money tree; shares shoot 75pc in ASX debut
Israeli agtech Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies blossomed on its ASX debut, listing at a 75 per cent premium to its offer price.
Roots (ASX:ROO), which makes ground heating and cooling systems to accelerate crop growth, debuted at 35c on Thursday after raising $5 million at an issue price of 20c.
The shares closed at 33.5c — a gain of 67 per cent.
It was a good day for ASX listings. The CSIRO’s latest spinout Rhythm Biosciences handsomely rewarded its backers on debut with an 82.5 per cent stag profit.
The cash will allow the company to further develop and commercialise its system, and continue its international growth.
“Roots will play a tangible role in helping address the global food demand and supply imbalance that is only getting more challenging due to increasing weather extremes and crop demand and reduced access to water and agricultural land,” co-founder Dr Sharon Devir said.
Their root zone technology is said to increase crop yield by as much as 50 per cent, mitigating extreme heat and cold stress while reducing energy consumption by 80 per cent.
Dr Devir told Stockhead the system allowed seasonal winter crops such as strawberries to be grown all year round.
“We are not just focused on the yield itself but on when they can derive the most yield,” he said.
“Winter temperatures in the desert make it impossible to grow strawberries but that is when the premium prices are higher — we can still grow strawberries even if it is near zero degrees outside.”
Field testing of strawberries saw average production increase by 25 per cent, with less deformations and no need for additional ambient heating when the roots were heated by just 10 degrees.