August 10, 2021
Brief: GreenLight Biosciences agrees to go public in $1.2bn SPAC merger
GreenLight Biosciences, an ag biotech company using the RNA technology made famous by Covid-19 vaccines, has agreed to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that will value the company at $1.2 billion and list it on the Nasdaq [disclosure: AgFunder, AFN’s parent company, is an investor in GreenLight Biosciences.]
July 19, 2021
Pivot Bio Raises $430 Million to Replace Synthetic Fertilizers in Agriculture
The company launches its second-generation nitrogen product to increase farm productivity and deliver improved sustainability
- The company tripled its revenue in 2021, providing farmers a breakthrough product now used on more than 1 million acres of farmland
July 19, 2021
Pivot Bio Nears $2 Billion Valuation As It Raises Whopping $430 Million To Replace Synthetic Fertilizers On Corn And Wheat
Karsten Temme was a grad student in bio-engineering at the University of California, San Francisco, when he started researching how plants might self fertilize with nitrogen, getting rid of the need for synthetic fertilizers. It was a big idea—synthetic fertilizers are notoriously bad for the environment, but farmers rely on them to keep their crops growing reliably and their yields up—and one that had eluded scientists for decades.
March 16, 2021
Meet the CRISPR pioneers who are making gene editing easy
In the 2019 documentary Human Nature, Stanford law professor Hank Greely asserts that CRISPR is the biotech industry’s Model T. If that’s true, a startup called Inscripta is rolling out an automated assembly line for the bioscience era. The biotechnology company is launching Onyx, a compact gene editor that can make thousands of changes to genomes in millions of cells for $347,000. This initial device will edit yeast and E. Coli, but Inscripta has promised to make large scale gene-altering a reality in mammalian cells with a forthcoming device.
March 23, 2021
Amfora Raises $6 Million with Investment from Leaps by Bayer and Spruce Capital Partners
Amfora, Inc., a biotechnology company that is using gene editing to increase the protein density of soybean and other crops to fuel the plant-based protein revolution, announced that Leaps by Bayer and Spruce Capital Partners invested $6 million in its Series B financing round.
“Amfora is using cutting-edge technologies to address the important challenges of food security, climate change, and growing consumer demands for protein-rich foods,” said Ganesh Kishore, Managing Partner of Spruce Capital Partners and a founder of Amfora. “In addition to its investment, Bayer’s global footprint, scientific expertise, and market savvy will aid in accelerating Amfora’s leveraging its foundational plant-based protein platform.”
March 24, 2021
Amfora gets $6m Series B injection from Bayer, Spruce Capital to increase protein in crops
US foodtech startup Amfora has raised $6 million in Series B funding from San Francisco VC firm Spruce Capital Partners and Leaps by Bayer, the corporate venture arm of German life sciences giant Bayer.
The San Francisco-based startup is developing technologies that can enhance the nutritional content of crops used in human food and animal feed.
February 23, 2021
Crop Enhancement Announces Impact of Sustainable Pest Control Product on Coffee and Almonds
Crop Enhancement, a maker of sustainable crop protection products, today announced the results of pilot trials on coffee and almond trees. Crop Enhancement’s solution, CropCoat, takes a different and biological approach than traditional chemical pesticides. Rather than trying to control pests with harsh chemicals, CropCoat coats crops in a non-toxic film to camouflage them and mitigate damage from insects and diseases.
February 23, 2021
Provivi® announces strategic relationship
Provivi, Inc. ("Provivi"), an emerging crop protection company using pheromones to protect large acreage row crops from major damaging insects, is pleased to announce a $10M investment by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ("the foundation"). This amount adds to Provivi's recently announced $45.5M C2 fundraising round.
February 8, 2021
Evolve BioSystems Announces Major Strategic Investment from Cargill and Manna Tree to Support Innovative Probiotic That Dramatically Improves Infant Gut Health
DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolve BioSystems announced today that it completed a substantial first close in a $55 million Series D round of funding, led by Cargill, the global food, agricultural, financial and industrial products company and Manna Tree, an investment firm committed to improving human health. The new capital will be used to help the company continue commercializing a next generation of probiotic capable of addressing a widespread deficiency in the infant gut microbiome.
January 28, 2021
Crop Enhancement Announces Commercial Launch of Biological Crop Protection Solution in Indonesia
Crop Enhancement, a maker of sustainable crop protection products, today announced the commercial launch of its CropCoat® solution after conducting a successful pilot project with Cargill cocoa growers in Indonesia. Growers and producers are now able to purchase Crop Enhancement's CropCoat® solution to effectively meet sustainability goals and diminish the use of chemical pesticides without negatively impacting production.
Crop Enhancement's solution takes a different approach than traditional chemical pesticides. Rather than trying to deter pests with harsh chemicals, CropCoat® coats crops to camouflage them and mitigate damage from insects, and disease. In the latest Indonesia trial conducted by Cargill's NGO partner Swisscontact with a select group of 30 cocoa farmers, CropCoat® technology has been shown to boost cocoa yields by 33% and increase grower net income by 21%.
January 26, 2021
PIVOT BIO OFFERS N-PRODUCING MICROBE FOR GRAIN SORGHUM
Grain sorghum prices are fetching a premium, and High Plains farmers may turn to that crop as an alternative to dryland corn production in 2021.
A new microbial product from Pivot Bio could help them maximize nitrogen efficiency if they do.
Pivot Bio Return is a nitrogen-producing microbe which, applied in-furrow during planting, attaches to sorghum plant roots, taking nitrogen from the air and turning it into ammonia, continually feeding nitrogen to the plant throughout the growing season.
December 22, 2020
Provivi® raises $45.5M to expand global launch
Provivi, Inc. ("Provivi"), an emerging crop protection company using pheromones to protect large acreage row crops from major damaging insects, is pleased to inform the completion of a $45.5M financing round. Vivo Capital, a Palo Alto based investment fund, led the round. Returning shareholders, including Kairos Ventures, Temasek, Pontifax AgTech, Tybourne Capital, Lanx Capital, and Spruce Capital, also participated in the financing.
"The Series C-2 financing is a new milestone in the growth of our company. It builds upon a very successful year where Provivi achieved several product registrations worldwide and launched our first product commercially in Mexico," said Dr. Pedro Coelho, Co-Founder and CEO of Provivi. "The funds will help accelerate our recently launched fall armyworm pheromone product in Mexico, Provivi-FAWTM, and prepare for further commercial launches of products in 2021."