Boragen, the first agtech startup from the AgTech Accelerator, has completed a $10 million Series A financing round.
The investors participating in Boragen’s financing include AgTech Accelerator investment partners Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Bayer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Elanco Animal Health, Flagship Pioneering, Hatteras Venture Partners, Mountain Group Capital, Pappas Capital and Syngenta Ventures.
While fungicides play a crucial role in protecting crops and ensuring global agricultural production needs, some disease-causing fungi may develop resistance because most fungicides have a single-site mode of action.
Researchers with Pennsylvania State University, Stephen Benkovic, Ph.D., and C. Tony Liu, Ph.D., developed Boragen’s technology platform, which will initially focus on mitigating such fungicide resistance while reducing the overall amount of chemicals applied per acre of land.
“Boragen’s world-class science and research team is working to develop innovative technology that increases crop yield and allows for implementation of more sustainable farming methods. These types of advances are a key area of investment interest for our team,” said Joel Marcus, co-founder and chairman of AgTech Accelerator, in a statement.
“AgTech Accelerator’s unique model provides its emerging companies with the necessary resources to successfully develop technologies across the crop and animal health value chains, filling important innovation gaps in AgTech,”
In addition to Penn State, Boragen’s founders include scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and The Scripps Research Institute. Its board includes synthetic chemists, experts in fungal genetics and molecular biology, as well as seasoned and entrepreneurs.
AgTech Accelerator, established in 2016 in Research Triangle Park, is a startup accelerator focused on discovering and developing emerging agricultural technology companies.
Boragen’s office and lab headquarters will be located within AgTech Accelerator’s facilities in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. John Dombrosky, CEO of AgTech Accelerator, will also serve as CEO of Boragen.
Marcus is also chairman, CEO and founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Alexandria Venture Investments.