Venture capital firms Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Harris & Harris and Innotech Advisors were the first investors to join the round ahead of its first close in April 2013 on $14.5 million. The three large agribusinesses committed the final $3 million in investment.
AgBiome, a North Carolina-based firm, researches the crop microbiome to identify products that reduce risk and improve crop yields.
Monsanto’s investment is a continuation of its collaboration with smaller agbio start-ups.
“The investment in AgBiome through our Monsanto Growth Ventures organization, which is the investment-focused arm of our company that brings together researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and emerging high technology companies,” a spokeswoman told Agri Investor. “Continued collaboration with diverse innovators like AgBiome will be key to helping deliver the broad range of sustainable agricultural solutions needed to meet growing demand.”