On Thursday, AgBiome, a unique agricultural products developing company has secured $34.5 million in Series B round of funding led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with Harris & Harris Group, The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund and few other investors.
The company AgBiome works to develop highly effective biological and trait products from crop-associated microbiome. They isolate and identify the largest collection of agriculturally relevant microbes that are sequenced, annotated and analyzed on the basis of genome using their proprietary informatics platform. They have partnered with many agricultural companies like Syngenta and Genective to boost the delivery process and capture global markets. the company with more than 50 employees is commercializing its first product which is a biological fungicide and post approval the product can hit the market in 2016.
The new funds has been planned to be invested in the AgBiome’s research and development programs and for the launch of its commercial biological fungicide. The firm will work in close association with BMGF to use its technology and products to help the poor farmers all over the world.
“Poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia face tremendous hurdles, such as unproductive soil, plant diseases, pests and drought, said Vipula Shukla, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This investment will ensure that AgBiome’s expertise is applied to creating new, affordable tools for these farmers that will protect their staple crops from pests and diseases.”
“We continue to be impressed with AgBiome’s progress and view this financing as an important step in the company’s growth,” says Misti Ushio, Managing director and Chief Strategy Officer at Harris & Harris Group. “This financing coupled with the recent announcement of collaboration with Genective to create novel insect-resistant crops support our continued belief that AgBiome, among a number of other companies in our current portfolio, could be a driver of potential future growth for Harris & Harris Group.”