AgroSpheres, a leader in developing the next generation of environmentally friendly crop health products, announced today that it had raised $22 million in a Series B financing round led by Lewis & Clark AgriFood and Ospraie Ag Science. Bidra Innovation Ventures and its existing investor, Cavallo Ventures, participated in the financing round. This funding will be used to accelerate product commercialization, expand manufacturing capacity, and seed broader applications of the AgroSpheres AgriCell platform technology.
"In this unprecedented bear market, food security, environmental footprint, and supply chain resilience are of paramount importance," said Payam Pourtaheri, Founder and CEO of AgroSpheres. "We are thankful for the support from our partners at Lewis & Clark, OAS, Bidra, and Cavallo, as we take significant strides towards our vision of a future built by nature's technologies and bring our biobased technologies to partners globally."
AgroSpheres' biomanufacturing platform has enabled cost-effective manufacturing and successful field application of novel biological modalities. The unprecedented field success of foliar-applied AgriCell-RNAi technologies has garnered significant industry interest. The company directly addresses the three key bottlenecks that biologicals face today: cost, performance, and stability. Following AgroSpheres' open technology demonstration day, Robb Fraley, Ph.D., known by many as the father of agriculture biotechnology, endorsed the technology as the one that will deliver on the unfulfilled promise of RNAi in Agriculture.
"The manufacturing expansion will allow us to deliver on the increasing demand for shelf-stable RNA and supply high-quality RNA at the lowest market price to partners in industry, in academia, and at the farm gate," said Ameer Shakeel, Founder and CTO of AgroSpheres.
Manufacturing, biorationals, and Formulation-as-a-Service (FaaS) are the three pillars of AgroSpheres. The biorational division is spearheading the first commercial launch in Agriculture of AgroSpheres' biodegradable encapsulation technology applied to volatile organic small molecules. In partnership with distribution, the product portfolio comprises AgriCell-enabled dose reduction and enhanced performance botanical inputs for crop health. The FaaS division holds major strategic collaborations between AgroSpheres and key AgBiotech companies, aimed at enabling novel biological modalities and microplastic or solvent replacement from existing formulations. The company's three pillars work collectively to achieve AgroSpheres' mission of providing farmers with reliable and affordable biobased solutions worldwide.
"AgroSpheres' breakthrough technology is best in class, backed by verifiable evidence. The results speak for themselves," said Amar Singh, President, BIDRA Innovation Ventures. "Fall armyworm in Africa is a critical pest impacting millions of lives. We are particularly interested in how AgroSpheres' technology can be used for Faw, especially considering resistance and toxicology issues with some of the incumbent chemistries today."
"We are extremely impressed by the AgroSpheres' founders and the cutting-edge biological manufacturing and delivery platform they have developed," said Larry Page, Ph.D., Managing Director, Lewis and Clark AgriFood. "As longtime AgTech investors, we are aware of the challenges in bringing effective bio-based solutions to growers. AgroSpheres has the biomanufacturing capability and consistent, year-to-year field trial results validated by third parties across the globe to be an industry-changing company for the years to come."
As part of Series B, Larry Page has joined AgroSpheres Board of Directors.