Robigo Secures $7M Seed Round to Protect Crops from Untreatable Diseases
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 15, 2023-- Robigo, a company that biomanufactures precision crop protection solutions, announced today that it has raised $6.85 million in Seed funding led by early stage climate tech fund, Congruent Ventures, with participation from other deep technology investors, including Good Growth Capital and First Star Ventures, amongst others.
Increasing plant disease outbreaks contribute to an estimated global crop loss of 20 - 40%, and newly emerging diseases lack timely, effective treatments to mitigate their spread. Robigo seeks to answer the agricultural industry’s call for faster, greener solutions that better protect crops. Applying a deep expertise in biological engineering and data science, Robigo’s scalable platform technology precisely targets agricultural diseases while being safe to beneficial microbes, insect pollinators, human consumers, and the environment. Robigo is focusing initially on developing technologies to address devastating diseases that impact high value specialty crops for which there are few effective commercial treatments.
Building off laboratory plant data demonstrating over 90% reduction of diseases in multiple crops, Robigo will use the investment to demonstrate product efficacy in outdoor field environments. “Today, the most widely used pesticides are toxic to the soil, broader environment, and human consumers in large part because they kill indiscriminately,” said Robigo’s CEO, Dr. Andee Wallace. “We've developed a way to give naturally-occurring microbes a boost that enables them to protect crops from disease. The next step is showing growers that it works reliably in the field, season after season.”
Beyond demonstrating efficacy in the field, Robigo will be expanding its platform capabilities to address a broader range of crops and diseases. Wallace added, "We've put together a world class team and we're committed to growing our impact across the industry by delivering new solutions for the most hard-to-treat diseases."
For investor Joshua Posamentier, managing partner at Congruent Ventures, it’s the broader impacts of Robigo’s technology on the agricultural sector that motivated him to back Robigo. “Agriculture has an outsized impact on the planet - from contributing 11% of greenhouse gas emissions to causing a significant loss in biodiversity. Robigo’s platform has far reaching potential to fundamentally change how growers treat their crops, by eliminating the chemical products we’ve become accustomed to with safer biological solutions.”
Posamentier isn’t the first to see the limitless potential of biomanufacturing in agriculture, and the past two years have offered a few notable highlights, such as Pivot Bio’s $430M Series D, Greenlight Biosciences IPO, and Corteva’s $1.2B acquisition of Stoller.
Robigo is a biomanufacturing company developing a microbial platform technology that leverages bioengineering and data science to precisely protect crops from disease while being safe to beneficial microorganisms, pollinators, humans, and the environment. To learn more about Robigo, visit www.robigo.bio.
About Congruent Ventures
Congruent Ventures is an early-stage investment firm focused on technologies and services designed to avert the current climate emergency. Founded by Abe Yokell and Joshua Posamentier, two longtime investors in the climate space, Congruent Ventures has over $300 million in assets under management and remains focused on investing in Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A rounds. Companies in the portfolio include Meati, a mycelium based meat producer; PicoMES, which develops software for efficient manufacturing; Parallel Systems, a developer of electrified, autonomous rail cars; Alloy Enterprises, which is an additive manufacturer for aluminum; and Hippo Harvest, which provides autonomous greenhouse growing systems. For more about Congruent Ventures, visit https://congruentvc.com.
About Good Growth Capital
Good Growth Capital is a majority women-owned and -managed early-stage VC firm with offices in Boston, MA and Charleston, SC that funds transformative technology start-ups. Good Growth invests in the most promising innovations in data sciences, greentech, hard sciences and life sciences, companies that fill pressing societal and market needs. This results in funds that meet both ESG and UNSDG impact goals. For more about Good Growth Capital, visit www.goodgrowthvc.com.
About First Star Ventures
First Star is a Boston-based, pre-seed/seed fund that invests with conviction in visionary, technical founders inventing a better future with new computing technology, including AI/M, computational biotech, edge computing, and decentralization. For more about First Star, visit https://www.FirstStar.vc.
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