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biologicals

Brief: AgroSpheres raises $4m Series A with Ospraie, Wilbur Ellis, for ‘Minicell’ pesticide tech

August 28, 2019

AgroSpheres has raised $4 million in Series A funding in a round led by Ospraie Ag Science and involving Cavallo Ventures, the corporate investment arm of agrifood retailer Wilbur-Ellis.

The Virginia-based startup is developing a novel delivery system for crop protection products using nano-technology for its ‘Minicell’ platform. Effective delivery is particularly challenging for biological products although Minicell can also improve the delivery of synthetic products too, according to a press release.

“AgroSpheres’ Minicell is a natural fermentation product that encapsulates and delivers both biological and synthetic chemical pesticides. Minicells shield encapsulated active ingredients from heat, UV light, microbes and enzymes that would otherwise quickly degrade them. They also enable the slow, sustained release of these active ingredients to maximize their impact.  Minicells will substantially improve pesticide performance while lowering dosage rates and reducing their environmental impact,” reads the release.

Carl Casale, a Syngenta board member and former CTO of Monsanto, led the investment for Ospraie where he’s a senior partner.

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