Continental Grain invested in a series D round that boosted the RNA technology provider's overall funding to $214m as it allocates more resources to vaccine work.

US-based agricultural and life sciences technology provider GreenLight Biosciences secured $102m yesterday in a series D round that included grain trading firm Continental Grain.

Venture capital firm Morningside Ventures led the oversubscribed round, which also featured S2G Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Fall Line Capital, Tao Capital Partners, Baird Capital, MLS Capital, Lupa Systems and Lewis and Clark Partners’ AgriFood fund.

GreenLight has traditionally developed RNA-based products for use in crop management and protection, but has latterly expanded into life sciences and is looking to apply messenger RNA technology to vaccines and antibody therapeutics.

The funding comes just weeks after GreenLight received $17m from Xeraya Capital – one of the two founders of Lupa Systems – Baird Capital and philanthropic organisation Flu Lab to fund work on translating its RNA technology to a possible Covid-19 vaccine.

The company has now raised $214m altogether, $50m coming in a January 2019 round led by TechAccel and backed by Continental, S2G Ventures, Baird Capital, Tao Capital, Blue I/O and Alexandria Venture Investments, a subsidiary of life sciences real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Agribusiness Syngenta contributed to an $18m round for GreenLight in 2017 through subsidiary Syngenta Ventures. The round was led by Fall Line Capital and included S2G Ventures, Lewis and Clark Ventures, Macro Capital Investments and existing backers Kodiak Venture Partners and MLS Capital.

Andrey Zarur, co-founder and chief executive of GreenLight, said: “We are honoured to draw the support of this notable group of new and existing investors as we drive forward our dual mission to make food production more robust and environmentally respectful; and our health solutions applicable to every member of the human race.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide bio-based solutions for plant health, human health and animal health, and to make those solutions affordable and accessible.”