SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Asilomar Bio, Inc., a San Francisco-based company developing technologies that improve harvest yields for growers, announced today the closing of a Series B funding round led by Syngenta Ventures and Cavallo Ventures, Inc., the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis. Certain existing investors, including Fall Line Capital and Cultivian Sandbox, also participated.
Founded in 2012 and focused on the physiology of plant water use, Asilomar Bio has developed a pipeline of chemistry that improves crop performance. Asilomar recently agreed to license to Koch Biological Solutions one of Asilomar's pipeline products for foliar and in-furrow application in row crops. Asilomar Bio's first commercial product contains a novel active ingredient that can 'rewire' the hydraulic architecture of the plant, improving how a plant senses, responds and uses water and nutrients from the soil. Its performance has been validated in more than 200 field trials over six growing seasons.
After raising $3 million in its Series A round led by Fall Line Capital, LLC and Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Asilomar is thrilled to have two major players in the agriculture industry join the group for its Series B round.
"We're very excited to have Wilbur-Ellis and Syngenta invest in Asilomar Bio," said Asilomar Bio Founder and CEO Eric Davidson. "They are trusted experts in the industry and their partnerships with growers to create value-add situations is something our technology can support and enhance."
"Syngenta Ventures is on the lookout for innovations that enhance the prosperity of farmers worldwide," said Derek Norman, head of Syngenta Ventures. "With a deep understanding of plant biology and the relevant science, Asilomar has demonstrated world-class capability in developing products that solve grower problems. We are thrilled to work with them as they put these products into the hands of growers."
"Terms like 'land stewardship' and 'water conservation' are not just empty rhetoric for us," said Wilbur-Ellis Vice President of Business Development Mike Wilbur. "I have great confidence not only in Asilomar Bio's technology, but in Founders Eric Davidson and Travis Bayer, and the impressive team they have assembled as well. I look forward to working with them as they explore other uses for this technology in fertilizer efficiency and other areas that support our growers' needs."
With the $12 million raised in its Series B round, Asilomar Bio looks forward to bringing promising products currently in development closer to launch and market, as well as commercializing its first compound, an active ingredient that works by increasing a plant's transpiration rate, the process by which water moves through plants.
"With this funding, we can grow our team and expand our science, protecting our natural resources and supporting growers at the same time," said Asilomar Bio Founder and CTO Travis Bayer. "It's an exciting time to be in agriculture and its rapidly-evolving technologies and we're proud to be a part of that."
About Asilomar Bio, Inc.
Asilomar Bio is developing technologies to help farmers sustainably increase harvest yields by enhancing crop nutrient and water use. The company is working to launch its first products in collaboration with partners. Asilomar Bio is based in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.asilomarbio.com.
About the Wilbur-Ellis Companies
Founded in 1921, the Wilbur-Ellis companies are leading international marketers and distributors of agricultural products, animal feed and specialty chemicals and ingredients. By developing strong relationships, making strategic market investments and capitalizing on new opportunities, the Wilbur-Ellis companies have continued to grow the business with sales now over $3 billion. For more information, please visit www.wilburellis.com.
About Syngenta Ventures
As the venture capital arm of Syngenta, Syngenta Ventures invests in companies that have the potential to help growers around the world farm more productively. As one of the most active venture investors in agriculture, Syngenta Ventures has invested over $150M since 2006. To learn more, please visit www.syngentaventures.com.