Venture capital firm S2G was convinced to lead the $22 million Series C funding round into Sound Agriculture and invest a “significant amount of capital into the company,” due to its potential to breed differentiated crops that have higher price yields.
S2G managing director Matthew Walker told Agri Investor: “A lot of the innovation we see is around resilience of crops and yields per acre.
“One of the things we’re thinking about is moving beyond yield per acre and looking at profit per acre, and that’s really about quality of product and having a differentiated product. Sound [Agriculture] is able to go after those output-based traits – think nutritional quality, cosmetics, unique flavor profiles – if we can develop these and differentiate the product and the brand, there’s real value there,” he said.
Sound Agriculture has two core areas of operation. The agtech company’s first commercial product, Source, was launched in 2019 and helps growers unlock nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil. The solution supports soil health and can, for example, increase corn yield by 8-10 hectares, according to Sound Agriculture.
The part of the business Walker believes can inspire a shift to thinking about profits per acre is its on-demand breeding platform, which allows it to tailor a crop’s nutritional and physical composition to achieve desired outcomes in a process that takes several months.
“Those are the types of things that meet the needs of the new consumer – it’s not just about how many bushels you can get per acre,” said Walker. “The consumer cares about their own nutrition, the experience, flavor, cosmetics. They also care about what you’re doing to the soil and the atmosphere – Sound hits all of those buckets and that’s what’s really unique about the business.”
Other investors in the round included Cultivian Sandbox, Fall Line Capital, Cavallo Ventures and Syngenta Ventures.
Walker declined to disclose the specific sum invested by S2G in the round, its first investment in the company, but did confirm it is considering investing in future rounds.