Just after signing its contract with Brazil’s biggest sugarcane company, Benson Hill Biosystems is pulling in some sweet money.
Benson Hill, an ag startup analyzing and using photosynthesis to improve crop productivity, has added to its seed round, according to BizJournals.com. With an additional $50,000 from iSelect, Benson Hill’s seed round now totals over $1.5 million. Benson Hill plans to use the funds for building its team and R&D for its use of photosynthesis to improve crop productivity.
Benson Hill Co-founder Matt Crisp told BizJournals that they are looking to raise $7 million more in a Series A. The fund is expected to close later this year.
This isn’t the first ag investment for iSelect, which is functioning under new SEC laws and able to solicit, and Benson Hill’s investment was just added to the platform in July. Managing Director Carter Williams said that by the end of 2015, iSelect hopes to invest somewhere between $500,000 and $2 million.
The extra funds for Benson Hill come just one month after the biotech company signed a deal with Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC), the largest sugarcane technology center in Brazil.
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“CTC might not be known in the U.S. like a Monsanto is, but it’s very much a leader in Brazilian sugarcane and Brazil is the largest sugarcane market in the world,” Crisp told BizJournal.
Benson Hill’s press release announcing the partnership said that sugarcane is not only an economically significant crop for bio energy, but that it also has unseen yield potential, which could be addressed by biotech companies like theirs.
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