BioConsortia Secures $15M Series B Round From Khosla Ventures.
An agricultural biotechnology company that uses a proprietary method for selection of beneficial microbial consortia for crop improvement, named BioConsortia, has managed to successfully raise $15 million in Series B funding. Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital participated equally in this round. This financial round, along with its recent appointment of Marcus Meadows-Smith as the CEO of BioConsortia, has accelerated the company’s plans to commercialize their product of microbial consortia as seed treatments and soil additives.
“There is substantial opportunity for BioConsortia to help transform agricultural production around the world,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, BioConsortia CEO. “It’s gratifying to win the ongoing support of sophisticated investors like Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital.”
BioConsortia has developed a proprietary system that utilizes accelerated microbial selection and the latest genomic techniques to define products for specific crop improvement traits based on the optimal community of microbes, or consortia, that will work together to increase the crop yields without any necessary genetic modification required. Th system will rapidly identify the correct consortia and apply it toward both conventional and transgenic crops.
“At Khosla Ventures, we’re investing in companies that can have a systemic impact on food production around the world,” explained Andrew Chung, partner at Khosla Ventures who helped incubate the company out of New Zealand with technical founder Dr. Peter Wigley. “Since providing the seed investment in the BioConsortia technology, we’ve been strong believers in the opportunity to dramatically increase agricultural production with smaller resource requirements. This R&D platform will accelerate innovation in agriculture and enable the industry to operate in even more environmentally sensitive ways.”
“It is a pleasure to invest again in the agricultural microbial industry in support of two former executives of AgraQuest, Marcus Meadows-Smith and Christina Huben,” said John Pasquesi, managing member of Otter Capital LLC and former chairman of the board of AgraQuest. “The combination of a growing industry, BioConsortia’s differentiated technology, and management’s demonstrated record of success make this a compelling opportunity.”
Behind the Investors.
Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital have both had a strong track recording on developing leading agriculture and food production companies. Khosla Ventures investments have included,The Climate Corporation (acquired by Monsanto), big data software platform for agriculture; Blue River Technology, a pioneer in the use of computer vision and robotics in agriculture; Hampton Creek Foods, a food technology company that utilizes plant science to replace egg products; and Granular (formerly known as Solum), a cloud-based farming software and analytics provider.
In the mean time, Otter Capital was an early and consistent investor for AgraQuest,a leading biopesticide company, which has been already acquired by Bayer CropScience, and Inguran LLC dba Sexing Technologies, one of the worlds leading supplier for sexed semen to the dairy and other livestock industries.
Furthermore in order to produce development and commercialize, BioConsortia will use the recent funding to invest within the necessary resources to create a collaborative partnerships with seed, fertilizer and crop production companies.