Venture Capital: Pivot Bio, Potential Disruptor of Synthetic Fertilizers, Collects $100M

May 1, 2020 | News, Venture Capital

Pivot Bio is offering farmers the first in-field microbial product to sustainably feed nitrogen daily to corn crops.

Pivot Bio is an agriculture tech startup that uses microbial technology to supply plants with clean nitrogen. The company’s products will displace the synthetic nitrogen from commercial fertilizers, reduce emissions, and increase crop yields.  It raised $100 million in a Series C round.(Crunchbase)

Pivot Bio offers an environmentally safer substitute for nitrogenous fertilizers

Nitrogenous fertilizer is a major chemical pollutant that causes climate change risks from droughts, fires, floods, and storms. Instead, Pivot’s genetically edited microbes cling to the epidermis of the plant’s roots and feed off its exudates. In return, they provide nitrogen to their host.

Pivot Bio PROVEN™, the company’s inaugural product for corn, consistently delivers more nitrogen into the crop than synthetic nitrogen, translating to an average of 5.8 bushels per acre advantage when compared to fields using only synthetic nitrogen in 2019.

According to Pivot, its clean nitrogen products could potentially reduce the consumption of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer by at least 100 million metric tons over the coming decade. That could remove one gigaton of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions. It would also reduce the incidence of water-borne nitrates and the attendant water purification costs.

“The strong backing by our Series C investors enables Pivot Bio to redefine the future of fertilizer and provide the world’s farmers with a new nitrogen source,” said Karsten Temme, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Pivot Bio. “Based on remarkable demand, we expect to ramp up from our large current footprint to millions of additional acres in the next growing season.”

According to GreenBiz, demand for PROVEN surged far beyond expectations and sold out for both seasons when it has been available. Farmers have applied it on hundreds of thousands of acres of U.S. corn crops.

The company now intends to scale its product beyond corn to wheat and international markets such as Argentina and Canada.

Series C investors

Returning investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and global investment company Temasek co-led Pivot Bio’s Series C funding. Mukesh Ambani, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Masayoshi Son back Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Temasek is the bulge bracket investment fund owned by Singapore.

Other investors included DCVC, Prelude Ventures, Spruce Capital Partners, Codon Capital, Bunge Ventures, Continental Grain Company, Tekfen Ventures, Pavilion Capital, and individual investors Alan Cohen and Roger Underwood.

The latest round brings Pivot Bio’s cumulative funding to $186 million.

Related Story:  Venture Capital: A Partnership to Promote Innovation in Canadian AgTech

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