Top 10 Agricultural Biotech StartupsAuthor: Daniel Mather
The agriculture industry in the US and around the world is worth many billions of dollars a year and there is always a steady stream of biotech startups looking to solve its problems and improve its processes.
Here’s a rundown of 10 of the best agriculture biotech startups to have emerged in recent years, all of which are helping to redefine the ways in which the industry operates and looks to maximise the ability to feed as many people as possible through potential crop growing and animal farming worldwide.
As an independent data room expert, in our ranking system we didn’t go down the usual route of investor evaluation. Instead, we valued our top 10 agricultural biotech startups using the following criteria: impact, simplicity, execution, ingenuity and scope.
1. Arcadia Biosciences – Now a public company, Arcadia was founded as a startup in 2002 and has since become one of the leading makers of genetically modified food crops in the world. Its record of delivering commercial benefits from theoretical concepts really sets it apart as an agricultural biotech pioneer.
2. Blue River Technology – A maker of “smart machines for digital agriculture”, Blue River is boldly breaking new ground in the creation of technologies that optimise a wide range of fundamental farming processes.
3. Taxon Biosciences – Acquired by DuPont in 2015, Taxon has created an amazing computerised platform that radically accelerates the way biological products with potential agricultural applications are identified and commercialized.
4. AgraQuest – Pest management is a massive issue in most agricultural contexts and AgraQuest’s biotech solutions have had a major impact in improving farmers’ systems of crop defence. The startup’s early success saw it acquired by Bayer CropScience, part of the German multinational chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer, for a sum of around $500 million in 2012.
5. Advanced Animal Diagnostics – A startup that has developed an impressively effective system of diagnostics enabling farmers to make early detections of infectious diseases among their livestock and make better choices about how they use antibiotics and keep their animals healthy.
6. BioConsotria – Having raised millions of dollars in a series of recent funding rounds, BioConsorita is now making swift and impressive progress as a maker of microbial consortia designed to improve agricultural yields on a consistent basis.
7. AgriMetis – This developer of natural productderived compounds is helping farmers protect their crops from all manner of weeds, fungal diseases and insect pests. With plenty of new ideas also in its pipeline, AgriMetis focusses primarily on responding to what remains a largely unmet need for better crop protection solutions.
8. Symbiota – A fastgrowing startup focussed on using microbial solutions that improve plant health and growth, Symbiota has consistently proven its appeal to investors and farmers alike in recent years.
9. EpiBiome – Small in scale but big on potential, EpiBiome is backed by venture capital and is well placed for growth as a precision microbiome engineering company. Based in California, the San Francisco startup is working specifically on therapies that combat infectious diseases in farm animals without the use of antibiotics.
10. NexSteppe – A maker of next generation feedstock solutions, NexSteppe is taking a lead in using analytics technology to deliver produce specifically tailored to the needs of operators in the world’s biofuels, biopower and biobased products industries.