Sep 17, 2021
$116M investment in AgBiome led by Blue Horizon and Novalis LifeSciences
AgBiome recently announced it raised $116 million in an oversubscribed Series D round of funding.
The investment was led by co-led by Blue Horizon and Novalis LifeSciences and that included multiple new and existing investors. AgBiome will use the capital to expand more rapidly its product portfolio, scale its scientific and commercial teams, and continue to build its global presence and partnerships, according to a news release from the company.
The company, based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, develops biological and trait products for crop protection from naturally occurring microbes. Agbiome has a fungicide product, Howler, that’s registered with the Organic Materials Review Institute.
The growing global population, increased demand for clean, healthy food, and pressure to reduce chemical agricultural applications have created a need for sustainable and environmentally compatible crop protection, according to the news release. AgBiome’s mission is to develop and deliver naturally derived crop protection products that meet grower need and consumer desire for sustainable food production.
AgBiome has a strong product pipeline to serve the growing global demand for biological alternatives. Its first product, Howler fungicide, is a revolutionary biological that harnesses the power of the plant microbiome and works on more than 300 crop-disease combinations. It offers multiple modes of action to provide preventive, long-lasting activity on a broad spectrum of soilborne and foliar diseases and demonstrated 10x sales growth in 2020.
The company expects to launch its second product, Theia Fungicide in early 2022, and recently submitted its third product, Esendo Fungicide for EPA registration, according to a news release from the company. Starting with biological fungicides and expanding to insecticides and herbicides, the company plans to launch 11 products by 2025.
“Biologicals are a rapidly growing, disruptive market segment that is projected to grow 14-fold by 2030,” said Scott Uknes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of AgBiome. “Growers need new tools to control problematic diseases while ensuring effective resistance management. AgBiome is laser-focused on developing science-based solutions. With this capital, AgBiome is well-positioned to execute on its strategic business model focused on developing proprietary products, fostering partner programs, joint ventures, and new company formations, all of which represent significant growth opportunities for AgBiome,” added Uknes.
“The impact of synthetic pesticides on the environment and human health is in the spotlight like never before, with customers and lawmakers alike demanding alternatives,” said Przemek Obloj, Managing Partner at Blue Horizon. “AgBiome provides that alternative: biological products that match the efficacy and cost of synthetic chemicals without the negatives. AgBiome helps realize Blue Horizon’s goal to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system; we are thrilled to be able to support the Company and its experienced team.”
“As one of the leading innovators in the biologics crop protection space, this significant fundraising will allow AgBiome to rapidly accelerate its mission to feed the world responsibly by both discovering and developing its own products as well as by identifying strategic acquisition growth opportunities,” said Marijn Dekkers, chair of Novalis LifeSciences and chair of the AgBiome Board.
As part of its integrated approach to crop protection, AgBiome partners with global ag companies to accelerate innovation, research and product commercialization and distribution. AgBiome has multiple significant commercial agreements with South Korea’s Farm Hannong, TMGin Brazil, Sumitomo Corp in Mexico, SePro Corporation, and research collaborations with BASF, Genective, Mosaic, Elanco, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Max Planck Institute and ElevateBio.
Cascadia Capital, an investment bank providing merger and acquisition, capital raising and strategic advisory services, acted as a placement agent for this transaction.