Ag tech just keeps heating up.
Earlier this week, Davis, California-based biotech startup BioConsortia announced that it has raised a $15 million series B round led by Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital.
BioConsortia’s unique system uses the latest genetic tools to identify the best combination of microbial consortia, diverse, tiny organisms that live on crops and in soil, to improve crop productivity. It does not rely on genetic modification. The startup plans to sell specific combinations of microbes in the form of seed treatments and soil additives, and has already developed fertilizer substitutions, solutions to combat climate conditions and pest-resistant products, reports AgFunder.
The startup will use the funding to expand its trials in two hemispheres, according to TechCrunch. It also plans to partner with seed, fertilizer and crop production companies, reports the Sacramento Bee.
Founded this year, the startup was created to develop and commercialize the microbial consortia technology of BioDiscovery New Zealand Ltd. BioDiscovery has previously worked with agriculture giants like Monsanto and AgraQuest, and in 2011 it secured its own $4 million seed investment from Khosla Ventures.
“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 platform will accelerate innovation in agriculture and enable the industry to operate in even more environmentally sensitive ways,” Andrew Chung, partner at Khosla, told the Sacramento Bee.
We will follow BioConsortia as it commercializes its product. We’re especially interested to see how potential partnerships with seed and crop production companies pan out.