|[April 07, 2014]
BioConsortia Raises $15M Series B Round from Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital
DAVIS, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
BioConsortia, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company that uses a
proprietary method for the selection of beneficial microbial consortia
for crop improvement, has raised an additional $15 million in Series B
funding. Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital participated equally in the
round. This fund-raising round, along with the recent appointment of
Marcus Meadows-Smith as the CEO of BioConsortia, accelerates the
company's plans to commercialize the use 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 uses accelerated
microbial selection and the latest genomic techniques to define products
for specific crop improvement traits based on an optimum community of
microbes, or consortia, that work together to increase crop yields with
no genetic modification required. The system rapidly identifies the
right consortia and can apply to 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 microial 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
Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital both have strong track records
developing leading edge agriculture and food production companies.
Khosla Ventures investments include: 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.
Otter Capital, meanwhile, was an early and consistent investor in
AgraQuest, a leading biopesticide company (acquired by Bayer
CropScience); and Inguran LLC dba Sexing Technologies, the world's
leading supplier of sexed semen to the dairy and other livestock
In addition to product development and commercialization, BioConsortia
will use the funds to invest in the necessary resources to build
collaborative partnerships with seed, fertilizer and crop production
About BioConsortia, Inc.
BioConsortia, based in Davis, California, is an agricultural
biotechnology company that uses a proprietary method for the selection
of beneficial microbial consortia for crop improvement. The company has
pipeline products and research projects for: enhanced utilization and
substitution of N, P, K and S fertilizers; plant growth improvement
including harvestable yield, root mass and accelerated development;
other desirable crop traits such as abiotic tolerance, biotic resistance
and enhanced metabolite expression. BioConsortia will partner with crop
protection, seed and plant breeding companies to bring the benefits of
microbial science and biotechnology to sustainable crop production. For
more information visit www.bioconsortia.com
About Khosla Ventures
Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital
to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of
their ideas in breakthrough technologies in clean energy, mobile, IT,
cloud, big data, storage, health, food, agriculture and semiconductors.
Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner
at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems (News - Alert). Khosla Ventures is
based in Menlo Park, California. More information is available at http://www.khoslaventures.com.
About Otter Capital
Otter Capital is a private equity investment firm based in Palo Alto (News - Alert),
California. Otter invests in a wide variety of industries, including
agriculture and sustainability. John Pasquesi founded the firm in 2001
and was formerly managing director and member of the executive committee
of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco based private equity firm.
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