Investors back crop genomics and data platform to tap nature's genetic diversity
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, today announced the first close of its $60 million Series C financing. The round is led by GV, with participation from new investors Activant Capital and Tao Capital Partners. Existing investors Alexandria Venture Investments, Fall Line Capital, iSelect Fund, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, and S2G Ventures also participated.
"With its data-driven approach to crop improvement, Benson Hill has significant potential to impact the next wave of productivity gains across food and agriculture," said Andy Wheeler, General Partner at GV. "The broad applicability of Benson Hill's technology platform -- combined with the executive team's expertise in photosynthesis and genomic selection -- creates new opportunities for farmers and the food production industry at-large."
Benson Hill empowers organizations of any size across the agri-food value chain to benefit from the most advanced tools in seed innovation. Benson Hill'sCropOS™ computational platform and suite of breeding and genome editing tools leverage the natural genetic diversity of plants to improve the sustainability, nutrition and flavor profiles of crops with greater speed and precision than previously possible, dramatically reducing the costs and timelines to develop new products.
"Developing foods that are nourishing to our bodies, responsible to our planet and that taste great is not a trade-off, it's an opportunity," said Matthew Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill Biosystems. "By combining biology with machine intelligence, our platform provides a novel approach to crop improvement. With this round, we have expanded our base of investors who recognize the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers."
The funding will be used to further advance CropOS™ and expand product development capacity to deliver a portfolio of improved crops with and for companies across the food and agriculture value chain.
"Consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food choices creates opportunity across many crops and ingredients, and plant genomics is a proven lever that has been severely underutilized in most crops," said Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director at S2G Ventures. "Benson Hill delivers the full suite of solutions a company needs to create differentiated products and capture this growing market, whether they are a seed company, food manufacturer or food retailer."
About Benson Hill Biosystems Benson Hill empowers innovators with a revolutionary crop design platform to develop healthier and more sustainable crops. Our CropOS™ platform combines machine learning and big data with genome editing and plant biology to drastically accelerate and simplify the product development process. More information can be found online at www.bensonhillbio.com. Follow us on Twitter at @BensonHillBio.