Investment From Valor Capital Group, Ospraie Ag Science, IFC, and Founders Fund
Biological Analytics Service Increases Corn and Soybean Profits up to $50 per Acre
Investment Will Expand and Scale Product Offering throughout the US and Beyond
EMERYVILLE, Calif., Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PatternAg, Inc., a company offering growers biological analytics to unlock the next frontier in agriculture, today announced the close of a $15M funding round, led by Valor Capital Group and Ospraie Ag Science, with participation from Founders Fund and the International Finance Corporation. This is the first outside financing for PatternAg, which was incubated at The Production Board, a San Francisco based investment foundry focused on building breakthrough science-led businesses in agriculture, food, and life sciences. Pattern envisions a future where conventional agricultural inputs are enhanced by precision microbiome engineering, improving farm productivity and sustainability.
A first step toward realizing that vision, Pattern’s crop protection product delivers actionable intelligence to farmers, based on high resolution mapping of the DNA found in a farmer’s soil. With nearly 100 billion organisms per soil core, Pattern’s metagenomic DNA sequencing technology maps the unique microbial community found in a farmer’s field, identifying key opportunities to increase yield and save money. Armed with Pattern’s insights into next season’s risks, especially from the most costly pathogens like Corn Rootworm and Soybean Cyst Nematode, farmers can apply recommended protective measures to maximize their yield or save money on inputs when those risks are absent.
Pattern’s Midwestern field team has helped the company create a product that is laser focused on the practical needs of corn and soybean growers. In its first season in market, Pattern signed up a broad cross section of farmers in seven Midwestern states, collectively farming half a million corn and soybean acres. By helping them optimize inputs, Pattern is helping its customers increase profits up to $50 per acre. Growers are taking actions, based on Pattern predictions, and seeing material returns on investments made this season.
“My treated soybeans yielded higher, and I would have never made that investment had I not known what was living in my soil,” said Andy Houzenga, an Illinois farmer, about Pattern’s service.
“Leveraging recent advancements in DNA sequencing, Pattern represents a major opportunity in computational agriculture,” said Michael Nicklas, partner at Valor Capital Group. “Mapping the microbiome at scale will enable us to understand how soil ecosystems drive agronomic outcomes.”
“Pattern is taking the right approach to biological diagnostics: developing the technology around practical use cases that generate near-term wins for growers,” said Carl Casale, senior partner at Ospraie Ag Science. “As the technology expands, it will enable us to apply biological solutions with increasing precision and efficacy.”
Pattern will use the funds to scale its biological analytics offering to both US and international markets, such as Brazil, which is the largest producer of soybeans and third largest producer of corn worldwide. It will also continue to expand its product offering to help growers better manage soil health and nutrients within their operations.
“We are just scratching the surface of what we can do with our metagenomics technology platform,” said Rob Hranac, CEO of PatternAg, Inc. “Today, from each soil core we pull, we use only 1% of the genetic data we sequence to drive our core crop protection product. We look forward to unlocking the power of the other 99% for growers.”
“PatternAg’s breakthrough science-driven approach to significantly improving efficiency in agriculture through metagenomics and the application of discoveries in the soil microbiome is a great realization of our mission at The Production Board,” said The Production Board Founder and PatternAg Chairman Dave Friedberg. “TPB is dedicated to building enduring businesses with exceptional teams, providing them with the capital and strategic partnerships needed to scale. PatternAg is at an inflection point and we are thrilled to welcome our new capital partners to join us in helping the business scale.”
About PatternAg, Inc.
Founded in 2018, PatternAg envisions a future where conventional agricultural inputs are enhanced and eventually replaced by precision microbiome engineering, improving farm productivity and sustainability. Pattern is headquartered in Emeryville, CA with field teams in six Midwestern states. Pattern uses metagenomic analytics to help farmers optimize their spend on fertility and crop protection inputs, while improving the long term productivity of their land.
About Valor Capital Group
Founded in 2011, Valor Capital Group is the pioneer cross-border venture fund focused on Brazil and United States opportunities with offices in New York City, Silicon Valley, and São Paulo. The firm partners with visionary entrepreneurs building transformative businesses from startup to scale-up. Valor is committed to the success of their portfolio companies by providing capital, operational support and connectivity to global markets.
About Ospraie Ag Science
Ospraie Ag Science LLC (OAS) identifies solutions to help farmers “Do More With Less.” By increasing profitability, improving quality-adjusted yield and reducing environmental impact, our companies not only benefit producers but generate smarter, healthier and more efficient food for consumers globally. Utilizing our extensive network and 25 years of experience investing in agriculture, OAS is positioned to help farmers achieve a sustainable future.
About The Production Board
Founded by David Friedberg and headquartered in San Francisco, CA, The Production Board is an investment holding company that operates a foundry focused on improving technologies in agriculture, food, and life sciences. TPB takes a science-led approach to re-imagining systems of production. TPB organizes exceptional teams, provides them capital and brings together strategic and financial partners to help these businesses scale.
Contact: Katie Hsia