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Trendlines, Agriline to invest US$3.8m in four medtech, agritech startups

CATALIST-LISTED startup incubator The Trendlines Group on Wednesday said its board and audit committee have approved investments in four of the group's portfolio companies involved in medical and agrifood technologies.

Trendlines will invest US$800,000, while Agriline will invest US$3 million. Agriline is the investment vehicle owned by a trust, of which Trendlines' controlling shareholder Vincent Tchenguiz is a discretionary beneficiary.

Trendlines chairman and chief executive Steve Rhodes said the four portfolio companies had achieved significant success both in the clinic and in the field.

Arcuro Medical has developed SuperBall, the first knotless meniscus repair system, for which it recently launched sales in the US, while ProArc Medical has developed ClearRing, a device to treat lower urinary tract symptoms due to an enlarged prostate. ClearRing, which reduces complications and promises a quicker recovery, is patented in the US and the European Union.

Meanwhile, Phytolon brings industrially-produced natural, high-quality food-colourants to the market in a cost-effective manner, while FruitSpec has commenced sales in Israel and Latin America for its fruit yield estimation technology, which can count and estimate fruit number and size, even early into the season.

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There is no technology available today that provides this information - which has a significant impact on the market value chain - early in the season, Trendlines added.

Trendlines' latest funding follows investments in eight other portfolio companies earlier this year, it said.

For the latest round of investments, three of the deals are in the form of share purchase agreements, in which Agriline will subscribe for shares of each of the portfolio companies, joining existing financing rounds.

One investment will be executed as a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (Safe) transaction.

Trendlines said: "A Safe is an equity derivative instrument, by which the Safe investor commits capital to an investee company today, in exchange for the right to receive shares in the portfolio company when there is a future financing by the portfolio company."

Neither Agriline nor Mr Tchenguiz possesses any influence on the price per share of the respective future equity rounds, which will be determined in the future by third-party investors negotiating with the respective portfolio companies, Trendlines said.

Shares of Trendlines were trading flat at 9.2 Singapore cents as at 10.50am on Thursday.

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