Aug 27, 2019$4M in financing round raised to support AgroSpheres’ technology
AgroSpheres, an agricultural technology company developing a novel delivery system for crop protection products, said Aug. 27 it has raised $4 million in a Series A financing round. Venture capital firm Ospraie Ag Science led the investment round that also included Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional products.
Carl M. Casale, a senior partner of Ospraie Ag responsible for identifying investment opportunities, led the investment round. Casale is also a member of Syngenta’s board of directors and was previously the chief financial officer at Monsanto.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Ospraie Ag Science and Wilbur-Ellis in this Series A financing round,” said AgroSpheres’ CEO Doug Eisner. “Both firms have deep industry knowledge and connections that will add enormous value to our team. This round will speed the development of our Minicell platform to transform the delivery of crop protection products, making them more effective at controlling pests, less costly for growers and better for the environment.”
Series A financing will fund the development and commercialization of AgroSpheres’ core Minicell technology. AgroSpheres’ Minicell is a natural fermentation product that encapsulates and delivers both biological and synthetic chemical pesticides. Minicells shield the encapsulated active ingredients from heat, UV light, microbes and enzymes that would otherwise quickly degrade them. They also enable the slow, sustained release of these active ingredients to maximize their impact. Minicells will substantially improve pesticide performance while lowering dosage rates and reducing their environmental impact.
Casale stated that “AgroSpheres’ Minicell platform has enormous potential to enhance the delivery of pesticides. Improving delivery is particularly important for biologicals – an important and promising category of crop protection. We are confident in AgroSpheres’ management and look forward to supporting the commercialization of their technology, one that could provide enormous benefit to farmers.”
“We’ve been impressed by the AgroSpheres team and its technology,” said President of Cavallo Ventures Mike Wilbur. “The Minicell platform can make pesticides work better, and we’re looking forward to working with them to help bring its products to market.”
AgroSpheres Inc. is a Charlottesville, Virginia-based agricultural biotechnology company developing technology to enhance the delivery of crop protection products. AgroSpheres mission is to dramatically improve the delivery of pesticides, making them more effective, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. AgroSpheres was founded by COO Payam Pourtaheri and CTO Ameer Shakeel who began experimenting with the minicell technology while undergraduates at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Upon graduation, they formed AgroSpheres to commercialize the minicell technology. www.agrospheres.com
Ospraie Ag Science is an investment vehicle that supports productivity enhancing companies in the agriculture technology space with a focus on sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life for farmers and society. Utilizing our extensive network and 25 years of experience investing in agriculture markets, we identify solutions that help farmers “Do More With Less” and that increase profitability, reduce environmental impact and improve their quality-adjusted yield.
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 $3.1 billion. www.wilburellis.com