US agri and biotech innovator Andes Ag, Inc. raises $15m in Series A round
Andes Ag, Inc., an agriculture and biotechnology innovator based in California, has raised $15 million in a Series A round co-led by Bayer’s impact investment arm — Leaps by Bayer and Cavallo Ventures.
Other new investors taking part in the funding round include Builders VC, Accelr8, Germin8, and Wilson Sonsini. The Series A round also saw the participation of existing investors — KdT Ventures and Endurance.
Andes Ag has developed a seed treatment technology called Microprime, designed for cutting down the need for synthetic fertilizers.
The biotech company is said to have developed a process for integrating seeds seamlessly with a library of microbes that colonize the root structure of seeds. This triggers a process called biological nitrogen fixation, which helps the crop to draw down nitrogen from the air rather than depending on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
Andes Ag is also engaged in developing microbial strains for nature-based permanent carbon capture solutions for sequestering and storing CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil.
Dr. Jürgen Eckhardt — Head of Leaps by Bayer said: “We invest in paradigm-shifting advances that can radically reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. Andes is an exceptional example of that: using novel seed technology to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and developing the next generation of agricultural carbon capture solutions.
“It’s exciting that our funding will help the Andes team scale its current offering and explore the possibilities of truly world-changing technologies like carbon capture.”
The agriculture and biotechnology innovator said that it will partly use the funds from the Series A round to scale its self-sustaining, nitrogen-fixing seeds in the US market as well as expand into South America.
The rest of the funding will be utilized by Andes Ag for advancing further research and development into its complementary nature-based permanent carbon capture technology.
Gonzalo Fuenzalida — Andes CEO said: “We are well past the need for sustainable products and practices. We can only avoid an irreparable climate disaster through solutions that are highly scalable and reliable.
“At Andes we are seamlessly integrating the power of microbes within seeds to dramatically cut the need for synthetic fertilizers. This investment will allow us to expand on this success, as well as expand our technology to utilize the millions of acres of agricultural land to capture and store carbon emissions.”