Monsanto Growth Ventures Leads Series A for Ag Biotech Company, PlantResponse Biotech
November 30, 2015
Spain’s PlantResponse Biotech has closed on a €5.7 million Series A, led by Monsanto Growth Ventures and including Caixa Capital, Middleland Capital, and Novozymes.
Founded in 2008 by Professor Antonio Molina and Professor Pablo Rodriguez Palenzuela as a spin-off of the Universidad Politécnica de Mardrid, PlantResponse has focused its development energies toward creating a portfolio of biological products that are sourced from plants and microorganisms that strengthen a crop’s response to both biotic and abiotic stresses while improving yield, and the development of new genetic traits that can enable crop breeders to develop new, stronger, and more resistant varieties of existing crops. The company’s portfolio includes the ownership and proprietary rights to ten products and six patents, and the company was recently awarded an additional patent for a new gene that can improve a crop’s response to drought.
“The technology being developed within Plant Response is world class. We look forward to working with the company to realize the benefits of their products on global agriculture,” said Dr. Scott Horner, managing director of Middleland Capital.
PlantResponse plans to use the funds raised to commercialize its current line of products, to bring new products to market, and to expand its research and development team.
Spain’s agrobiotechnology sector has seen a recent annual growth rate of 15% and is on pace to double in value from €300 million to €600 million by 2019. In 2014 the country’s top crop protection product manufacturers saw a 22.6% increase in turnover year on year to €900 million, according to the Asociatión Empresarial para la Protección de Plantas (AEPLA). Herbicides lead sales, accounting for 35% of total turnover, insecticides, acaricides and nematicides account for 30% of sales, and fungicides account for 25% of total crop protection sales.
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