UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State alumni-founded startup Phospholutions, a leader in sustainable fertilizer technology, recently announced additional investment from leading global agricultural companies totaling $5.3 million. This funding will support the commercialization of their RhizoSorb (trademark) technology in the US row crop market.

This new investment series includes investments from Ospraie Ag Sciences (OAS), Bunge Ventures, Bunge’s global for-profit investment arm, and UPL Ltd. The series follows the $10.3 million Series A announced earlier last year, which allowed Phospholutions to more than triple in size. Additionally, Phospholutions recently won a $250,000 investment during the Radicle Challenge from UPL.

Phospholutions founder and CEO Hunter Swisher began developing RhizoSorb as a student in the plant sciences program at Penn State. As part of a university research project, Swisher learned about technology that had been developed and patented by one of his professors. Seeing the market potential for the technology, he worked with the Penn State Office of Technology Management to license the IP and launch Phospholutions.

“Our success and rapid growth would not be possible without the support and foundation that the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Happy Valley provides to the community,” said Swisher. “Support is one of the reasons we’ve kept our headquarters at the Innovation Park.”

Phospholutions’ RhizoSorb is a soil improvement product that uses technology originally developed at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. With research showing that more than half of the fertilizers applied to soil are never used by plants, RhizoSorb aims to naturally improve nutrient retention, increase plant uptake and ultimately reduce leaching and waste phosphorus.

“This investment will help accelerate our commercial launch by supporting this year’s commercial trial program, strategic development partnerships and enables the product to be delivered to the US crop market for the 2023 growing season,” Swisher said.

In addition to this new series of investments, Phospholutions also announced that Penn State alumnus Stephan Levitsky has joined the team as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Sustainability. Levitsky has more than 20 years of senior executive experience in leading food and agriculture companies.

“Supporting our shared global vision for a more sustainable future for agriculture aligns us strategically with our investors who seek to bring science-backed solutions to market for meaningful impact,” said Levitsky.

At the end of last year, Phospholutions was also selected as one of the first five companies selected for the Farm2050 nutritional technology test platform in New Zealand, organized by Finistere Ventures and Innovations Endeavors. New Zealand will join Canada, the US, Turkey, India, Brazil and Africa on the list of RhizoSorb global trial sites planned for 2022.

“RhizoSorb technology aligns closely with our entrepreneurial firm’s mission to do more with less,” commented Carl Casale of OAS. “Technology promotes increased profitability for growers and reduces environmental impact to contribute to a more sustainable future for agriculture.”

To learn more about Phospholutions and follow their journey, visit or on LinkedIn.

About Invent Penn State

Invent Penn State is a statewide initiative to foster economic development, job creation and student career success. Invent Penn State combines entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business start-up training and incubation, commercialization funding, and university, community, and industry collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humanity.

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