TerViva Inc.

TerViva Inc.

TerViva Inc.

TerViva, Inc. develops new crops on underproductive agriculture land. It primarily focuses on the production and commercialization of varieties of pongamia. The company’s trees yield pongamia seed oil that is suited for conversion to biofuel or chemicals; high-protein de-oiled pongamia seed cake suitable for animal feed; and pongamia pods composed of biomass suitable for bio-power production. In addition, it develops molecular markers for pongamia breeding. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in Oakland, California.

Company details

436 14th Street, Suite 900 , Oakland , California 94612 USA
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Crop Cultivation
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)
Year Founded:

Our Mission: Make better use of land given declining natural resources and rising demand

Arable land base continues to shrink every year at an alarming rate while demand for food & fuel soars. The US has lost 40 million acres of arable land in the past 40 years.Our Solution:  We grow a hardy, high yielding oilseed tree crop called pongamia

  • 1Ox oil produced per acre compared to soy (400 gal. vs 40 gal.)
  • 3 times more protein rich seed cake per acre than soy (3 tons vs 1 ton)
  • One-fourth the water and chemical inputs of soy; added benefits of nitrogen fixation and carbon sequestration
  • No be-spoke agricultural infrastructure required; pongamia is a 'drop-in' crop for abandoned citrus land
  • $2,150+ of revenue per acre, $900+ of net income per acre to the grower
Working with TerViva™

At TerViva™, we develop high-yielding cultivars of pongamia and plant them with interested growers and land owners. Pongamia easily “drops in” to their existing operations, utilizing the same field setups and infrastructure.  TerViva™ then processes the seed pod harvest into vegetable oil and protein seed cake, which is sold to third parties for usage in fuels, chemicals and animal feed.

Current Projects

TerViva™ is currently establishing pilot projects and commercial size acreage in Hawaii and Florida -- geographies where the need for a new crop and the proper climate for pongamia intersect.  Please check our News page for the latest information on announced projects.

TerViva™ is a portoflio company of several high profile investors, including The Yield Lab, an ag-tech business accelerator based in St. Louis and the Elemental Excelerator, a business incubator working with mission driven start ups focusing on improving infrastructure, building community and sustainability. The Elemental Excelerator is supported by the Department of Energy, Department of the Navy, PICHTR (Pacific International Center for High Technology Research), and the Emerson Collective.


Our Trees

Native to India and Australia, pongamia is a long-living tree that produces an annual harvest of seeds that are similar to soybeans. On a per-acre basis, pongamia produces eight times the amount of oil than a soybean with a fraction of the inputs (water, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) and is thus cheaper to maintain while being much more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

TerViva has compiled an exclusive library of high-yielding, patentable pongamia genetics from around the world and has developed propagation techniques for scalable, consistent results. The core of the IP platform is the elite pongamia genetics, which are iteratively advanced through a number of exclusive partnerships. TerViva is also working on a molecular marker program to identify traits for breeding, such as oil yield and salt tolerance.

High Yielding Trees

  • Up to 100kgs of seed pods per tree per year
  • 400 gallons of oil per acre
  • 8x the production of soy
  • Potenital to surprass the production of palm, with significantly lower environmental impacts

Hardy & Vigorous Growth

  • Extensive root system adapted to long dry season
  • Demonstrated tolerance of saline soils
  • Insecticidal and nematocidal properties reducing need for pesticides
  • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in roots reduce need for fertilizer

High Quality Seed

  • Seeds contain 40% oil, high in oleic acid
  • Seed cake high in protein
  • Variety of downstream applications; biodiesel, crop sprays, lubricants, biopesticides, animal feeds

We use pongamia to “grow oil”, combining agriculture with chemistry to produce clean fuels and green chemicals -- while at the same time restoring underproductive land and creating jobs in rural communities. Pongamia oil contains long-chain fatty acids that are well-suited for conversion into biodiesel, renewable diesel, high-performance surfactants, and lubricants. Once removed of oil, the residual pongamia seed cake is high in both nitrogen and protein, and has proven value as a fertilizer and animal feed supplement.