Ospraie Ag Science leads $45m Series B for pesticide enhancer

A market source says Terramera’s offerings create synergies that could open the door to a future combination with Ospraie Management’s main biologicals platform, Marrone Bio Innovations.

Ospraie Ag Science has led a $45 million Series B funding round for crop protection enhancements producer Terramera, the latest in a line of investments by Ospraie and its affiliated companies.

Terramera will use the Series B capital to support development of its Actigate enhancement agent, which is designed to increase the performance of active ingredients used in crop protection products, reducing the amount required. The size of Ospraie’s investment into Terramera was not disclosed.

A market source highlighted to Agri Investor that Ospraie’s Terramera investment comes amid a flurry of activity in the biologicals market, including the firm’s participation in a $75 million recapitalization of Marrone Bio Innovations last year.

MBI acquired Finnish lignin-derived fertilizer producer Pro Farm in a $31.8 million deal last month, structured as a combination of cash and stocks. MBI also announced Wednesday it has acquired all rights and assets related to Jet Harvest Solutions’ Jet Ag and Jet Oxide product lines, which are disinfectants designed to control fungal and bacterial diseases.

The source said Ospraie intends to use MBI as a platform to roll up the biologicals industry.

Agri Investor’s source suggested that parent company Ospraie Management’s decision to invest in Terramera through Ag Science could be a practical one, given the attention MBI is likely to devote to integrating recent acquisitions.

“For Ospraie, it’s an investment in synergy,” the source said of Terramera. “It may or may not be stitched together [with MBI] – who knows?”

Ospraie Management founder Dwight Anderson told Agri Investor last year that Ospraie Ag Science is intended to function as a “greenhouse,” where earlier-stage biologicals companies would be given the chance to develop.

Ospraie Ag Science was involved in a $36.6 million financing facility for MBI in August, and a $3 million seed funding round for Argentinian startup BeeFlow, which develops organic compounds fed to bees to enhance their immune system and pollination of target crops.

The firm was also part of a $4 million Series A round for AgroSpheres, a Charlottesville, Virginia-headquartered company developing a natural fermentation product, which encapsulates and delivers biological and synthetic chemical pesticides.

Former Monsanto and CHS executive Carl Casale was last week appointed to the board of directors at Ospraie Ag Science.