Monsanto and Temasek-backed Pivot Bio has now raised a total of almost $87m and will use the latest funding to develop its second crop nutrition product.
Pivot Bio, a US-based agricultural technology developer backed by agribusiness Monsanto, completed a $70m series B round led by energy technology investment fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) this week.
BEV was joined by Singaporean government-owned investment firm Temasek. Cooper Rinzler, a member of Breakthrough Energy, will join Pivot Bio’s board of directors along with Temasek director Dheeraj Mehta.
Pivot Bio has created a microbe that is applied to crop furrows while corn is being planted to aid crop nutrition by ensuring nitrogen is continually fed to the plant. The product, Pivot Bio Proven, has been approved in some US states and is set to begin being used in 2019.
The series B funds will support the development of a seed treatment product as well as the expansion of Proven to other crops, such as wheat and rice, and to markets including Canada, Brazil and Argentina.
Monsanto’s strategic investment vehicle, Monsanto Growth Ventures, and venture capital firm DCVC co-led Pivot Bio’s $750,000 seed round in 2014 in addition to a $16m series A that included Prelude Ventures and Spruce Capital Partners in March 2016.
Karsten Temme, Pivot Bio’s co-founder and CEO, said: “This round of funding enables Pivot Bio to introduce our products to the world. We are excited to deliver a product to farmers that increases their productivity while improving the quality of our air and water through reduced fertiliser-linked pollution.”