Agtech start-up Pivot Bio has secured $100 million in a Series C funding round, as it aims to expand its operations and displace the synthetic fertiliser industry.
The round, which brings its total investment to date to $186 million, was co-led by return investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and global investment company Temasek.
With its latest funding, Pivot Bio will accelerate its plans to scale its first-to-market microbial nitrogen technology that it claims maximises crop yields and farmer revenue.
According to Pivot Bio, its technology will also help decrease greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution and global energy use related to the global synthetic nitrogen fertiliser market.
Over the next decade, Pivot Bio plans to help farmers reduce their use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser by at least 100 million metric tonnes which they claim would eliminate one gigaton of CO2 emissions and reduce water-borne nitrates.
Pivot Bio Proven, the company’s inaugural product for corn, is in its second year of commercialisation. Earlier this spring, the firm also launched a new product for US wheat crops, Pivot Bio Return, through a limited, early-adopter programme.
The start-up plans to use the capital to expand to markets outside the US for the first time, including for both commercially available products and on-farm trials.
“Growers and our planet deserve a better fertiliser – one that balances on-farm economics with the farmer’s commitment to leave the land better for the next generation, and Pivot Bio’s technology helps them do just that,” said Karsten Temme, CEO and co-founder of Pivot Bio.
Temme added: “The strong backing by our Series C investors enables Pivot Bio to redefine the future of fertiliser and provide the world’s farmers with a new nitrogen source. Based on remarkable demand, we expect to ramp up from our large current footprint to millions of additional acres in the next growing season.”
Other participators in the round include DCVC, who led Pivot Bio’s seed and Series A rounds, Prelude Ventures, Spruce Capital Partners and Bunge Ventures.
Matt Ocko, managing partner at DCVC, said: “Pivot Bio is addressing one of the most difficult challenges facing agriculture in the 21st century – reducing dependence on damaging synthetic fertiliser while increasing crop yields and creating better outcomes for farmers.
“DCVC led Pivot Bio’s early rounds and remains a major backer because we believe the company will truly transform global agricultural practices. We’re pleased the company continues to bring its microbial nitrogen technology to new crops and new locations, across America and around the world.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020