Phytelligence, the first agricultural technology company to be born out of Washington State University (WSU), is now in receivership as of September 25, 2019. The company was based on a novel propagation method that used a nutritious gel to help fruit trees mature faster with higher survival rates.
According to the company’s website, “we grow fully-rooted, genetically confirmed, guaranteed virus- and disease-free plants.”
It is an unfortunate demise to the company started in 2012 based on the work of WSU professor Dr. Amit Dhingra. He served at the company’s chief science officer. The company foundered because of a legal dispute with Washington State University.
Phytelligence claimed that WSU unjustly blocked the company from commercializing Cosmic Crisp, a highly anticipated apple that’s a cross between Honeycrisp and Enterprise. In a countersuit, WSU alleged that Phytelligence improperly sold 135,000 Cosmic Crisp trees to a grower without a license.
In July 2019, a judge dismissed Phytelligence’s case against WSU. It’s a stark ending to a company that had raised $23 million from investors and had employed 100 at its peak.