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TechAccel, Iowa Corn back Agrivida

The St. Louis-based company has attracted strategic investments from two new backers, agri venture firm TechAccel and Iowa Corn Opportunities.

US-based Agrivida, a company that develops enzyme solutions for the animal nutrition market, has received a new infusion of capital from agri venture firm TechAccel and Iowa Corn Opportunities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

None of the parties involved disclosed terms of the investment. TechAccel declined to comment and Agrivida did not respond to a request for comment.

The investments come on the heels of a $20.4 million Series E financing round the Missouri-based company completed in September 2016, led by the University of Texas Investment Management Company and including ARCH Venture Partners, Cultivian Sandbox, Middleland Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Northgate Capital.

“Agrivida is poised to create a disruption across enzyme manufacturing and animal nutrition,” TechAccel president and chief executive Michael Helmstetter said in a statement. “We are excited to take a key role in developing the science to expand the potential of Agrivida’s technology,” he added.

According to the statement, Agrivida has a patented technology using protein expression in grain to simplify the process of enzyme production. The company is in the process of commercializing its patented Grainzyme feed additive enzymes for use with poultry, swine, dairy and beef cattle.

“We see Agrivida and its technology as a great new platform for using corn as a cost-competitive factory for a wide variety of products, said Brian Jones, chief operating officer of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, which operates Iowa Corn Opportunities as an equity fund.

Founded in 2004 by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Agrivida has been granted 33 patents, with more than 85 pending. It expects to introduce its new products early this year.