Food and agriculture biotech start-up, Boost Biomes, has raised $5 million in Series A funding and closed a joint development agreement with crop nutrition company, Yara International ASA.
California-based Boost has a proprietary microbiome technology platform which the company says enables it an advanced understanding of microbial interactions.
The company uses its technology to develop products addressing food and agriculture needs, such as improving produce safety, increasing crop yields, and preventing post-harvest diseases.
Yara is a global producer of nitrogen fertiliser and other crop nutrient products. The company also offers a portfolio of digital solutions, developed in partnership with IBM, which use artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to provide agronomic advice and other services for farmers.
With the partnership between the two companies in place, Boost and Yara say they will expand current efforts to co-develop a new product to enhance crops’ rate of nutrient uptake from the soil. If successful, this project will reportedly enable farmers to increase yields with fewer inputs, cutting costs and reducing environmental impact.
Participants in Boost’s latest financing round include existing investors Viking Global Investors and Y Combinator, while Yara’s investment amounts to $3 million.
Boost will use the capital raised to continue to develop a biofungicide product, as well as further develop its product pipeline and technology platform.
“Yara’s evaluation of our technology, and our resulting joint program, further validates that our platform generates a unique data set that can be exploited for many diverse microbiome applications in food and agriculture,” said Boost Biomes’ CEO and co-founder, Jamie Bacher.
“We look forward to working closely with the team at Yara to develop novel products for farmers, to address their most pressing challenges.”
Joacim Christiansen, SVP at Yara Farming Solutions, added: “We are excited to collaborate with, and invest in, Boost Biomes as part of Yara’s focus on innovative microbial approaches within our crop nutrition solutions.
“A key priority for farmers is efficient and effective use of fertilisers. Boost’s technology has the promise to unlock new means to enhance crops’ nutrient uptake.”
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