As it turns out, some VC’s don’t like bugs, either.
Kalamazoo-based bioinsecticide company, Vestaron Corporation, recently closed a $10M Series C Preferred Stock. The round was led by new investor Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, which is a fund specializing in food and agricultural companies. Returning investors Pangaea, Open Prairie, Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund and new investor Michigan Accelerator Fund I also contributed to the fund.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Cultivian to the Vestaron team,” said John Sorenson, CEO of Vestaron. “Their expertise in the agricultural arena will be a great addition to our Board of Directors, and their experience in bringing agricultural products to market will be of tremendous help as we commercialize our first product, a biological insecticide.”
Vestaron’s insecticides use naturally occurring peptide, which target new metabolic pathways, and therefore “get around the resistance problem,” according to the website. Identifying three peptide compounds that are needed for insect survival, Vestaron has an insecticide that takes a different approach than other insecticides on the market. The solution is safe for humans, birds, fish, and the environment, according to the company, and was approved in February for commercial use.
And Vestaron is not only working on a pesticide that targets these peptides, but also sees potential for genetically modifying crops to be pest resistant.
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“We’ve followed Vestaron for several years now and this is clearly the right time for Cultivian Sandbox to invest in the company,” Ron Meeusen, Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox said. “They have made tremendous technical progress in the past two years, and the commercialization of their first product is exciting indeed.”
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FEATURED PHOTO: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr