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Venture Capital News: NewLeaf Symbiotics Announces $24M C Round

ST. LOUIS, MO, NewLeaf Symbiotics announced today the close of a $24MM series C financing round.
NewLeaf Symbiotics announced today the close of a $24MM series C financing round, accelerating plans to convert proven applications of its biotechnology into products for large-scale agriculture. The company's commitment to tapping the advantages of Methylotrophic bacteria has positioned it as a leader in agricultural biologicals. Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV) and Otter Capital jointly led the round. Lewis & Clark Ventures participated in the financing, as did Rockport Capital, Pangaea Ventures, Open Prairie Ventures, and other investors.

NewLeaf will use the invested capital to commercialize seed treatment and in-furrow products for soybeans, corn, wheat, peanuts, and other crops. The company is tripling the size of its R&D and pilot production facility in St. Louis and is expanding its proprietary Prescriptive Biologics Knowledgebase™ bioinformatics platform.

"The application of these bacteria in agriculture has tremendous potential to enhance yields and improve plant health," said MGV Venture Principal Ryan Rakestraw. "We are excited to partner with NewLeaf to support the advancement of this differentiated technology."

Otter Capital founder John Pasquesi commented, "When Otter led the series B financing round we invested in a very strong team, broad IP, and great field data. The company has made rapid progress and has a deep product pipeline. In our judgment NewLeaf has developed a sustainable technology with immense upside, and the team that has only gotten stronger."

NewLeaf CEO Tom Laurita added, "Agriculture is undergoing deep technological and structural change. This investment affirms the importance of biologicals and validates NewLeaf's strategy in this emerging space. Industry consolidation is reshuffling the major players and we are working closely with several of the most forward-looking companies to integrate our products and technology into their product platforms. We are grateful to our current and new investors for their support."

NewLeaf was established in 2013 in the Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center. "Bill Danforth's vision for the Center was to make St. Louis the world leader in plant science research and innovation," said John McDonnell, chairman of the Danforth Center board of directors. "By assembling a world class team and commercializing new agricultural technologies, NewLeaf Symbiotics has become an example of the realization of Dr. Danforth's vision."

About NewLeaf Symbiotics

NewLeaf Symbiotics is a venture-funded agricultural biologicals company engaged in discovery, development, production, and commercialization of products containing beneficial plant bacteria. Its 30+member team is based in BRDG Park at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, Missouri. Visit NewLeaf Symbiotics at

Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park

Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center helps life science companies bridge research, resources and relationships to achieve commercial success. In addition to providing world-class wet laboratories, office space and a prominent incubator, BRDG Park's location on the Danforth Center's campus facilitates access to the intellectual capital of top scientists, as well as to greenhouses, growth chambers, microscopy and proteomics facilities and other vital resources. Located in suburban St. Louis County, Mo., BRDG Park is being developed by Wexford Science+Technology LLC, a development company led by a seasoned team of real estate, finance and engineering experts specializing in major university facilities and science research parks nationwide.
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