Indigo Ag, the startup using plant microbiome research to create microbial inputs for farmers, has raised $156 million towards its Series D round.
The round takes the startup’s total funding to over $300 million after it raised $156 million last year in Series B and C funding.
Existing investors Alaska Permanent Fund and the startup’s founding investor, Flagship Pioneering, the venture development organization, also joined.
The funding will go towards manufacturing Indigo’s next line of microbial products, Indigo Soybeans and Indigo Corn. It released Indigo Wheat, a seed with a microbial coating positioned to help the crop withstand drought and water stress. According to research conducted earlier this year, Indigo Wheat that was planted in the Fall of 2016 demonstrated an average yield improvement of 15.7% in expected conditions and 8.3% across all conditions in the water-stressed target region of Kansas.
Indigo Ag also says that the wheat will give farmers a 43 cents per bushel price premium.
Indigo Cotton, the company’s first microbial seed coated product, demonstrated an average yield improvement of 11% in the target environment of West Texas in January. “Growers experienced productivity gains in diverse growing conditions without increased use of water or agricultural chemicals. Indigo Cotton still remains a focus area for the company as it continues to expand,” the company told AgFunderNews in a statement.
The funding will also go towards supporting recently-opened offices in Australia and Argentina, according to a press release.
Indigo Ag, which licenses external technology as well as developing it in-house, is also researching products that go beyond managing environmental stressors like drought and will focus on nitrogen efficiency as well as pests and disease, reads the release.
**Stay tuned for updates to this story as more information comes to light**