DAVIS, USA: BioConsortia, Inc., innovator of microbial solutions for natural plant trait enhancement and crop yield improvement, announced that it has raised this year a total of $12 million for future growth. Last week, BioConsortia closed an $8 million equity round of investment financed by existing investors, Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital, and earlier in the year raised $4 million of venture debt from Square 1 Bank, a division of Pacific Western Bank.
Experienced ag tech investors, Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital funded BioConsortia’s $15 million Series B round in early 2014, enabling the move from New Zealand to the US, and establishing operations and headquarters in Davis, California. This move refocused the research on US microbes, seed genetics, more sustainable fertilizers and improved agronomic practices.
“We are thrilled with the commitment and support from our existing investors and Square 1 Bank. This is a busy time of year for all in the ag space with field trial data coming in. Having funding in place early means that we can keep our foot on the accelerator and continue to expand our research capabilities, field trials program and the number of beneficial traits that we are moving down our pipeline,” says BioConsortia CEO, Marcus Meadows-Smith.
BioConsortia continues to exploit its revolutionary Advanced Microbial Selection® (AMS) process to discover advantageous microbial consortia treatments for biofertilizers and biostimulants. Recently the company launched several biopesticide projects to identify crucial microbial solutions to combat seed and soil-borne diseases and pests.
Following the addition of Dr. Hong Zhu from Bayer CropScience earlier this year, the company is also further expanding its formulation and fermentation team to work on products that meet the best standards for seed and soil-applied solutions. Construction on new lab space at the current R&D facilities is underway.
Building on 2016 field trials, BioConsortia will increase its program for 2017. Next year’s trials will include important traits for drought tolerance and fertilizer use efficiency on corn, soy, and wheat, as well as biopesticide trials for management of soil-borne diseases in select high-value vegetable crops and pests such as corn rootworm.
BioConsortia, Inc. is developing effective microbial solutions that enhance plant phenotypes and increase crop yields. We are pioneering the use of directed selection in identifying teams of microbes – working like plant breeders and selecting plants based on targeted characteristics, then isolating the associated microbial community. Our proprietary Advanced Microbial Selection® (AMS) process enriches the crop microbiome, allowing us to identify organisms that influence the expression of beneficial traits in plants. We are currently focused on products for fertilizer use efficiency, growth improvement and both abiotic tolerance and biotic resistance, as commercial seed treatments, liquid in-furrow products and granule products for a range of crops.