Benson Hill Biosystems lands $7.3M in Series A financing 

August 30, 2015 |

In Missouri, Benson Hill Biosystems, dubbed “The Photosynthesis Company”, announced  it has secured an investment of $7.3 million in its Series A round of financing. Middleland Capital led the round, with co-investors Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, Prolog Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, Cultivation Capital, and TechAccel.  Existing investors Missouri Technology Corporation and Biogenerator also participated in the round.

Boosting crop yield on existing acreage and with limited inputs is the foremost challenge in sustainable production agriculture.  Benson Hill was founded in 2012 to address these growing challenges.  Through rational design and by applying next-generation biotechnology and other approaches, the company is using computation and biology to accelerate innovation in crop development.  Benson Hill technologies will supply growers with more output from less input and increase sustainability and value throughout the agriculture and bioenergy sectors.

The funding will be used to further advance its PSKbase, a computational and systems biology-based platform that helps technology developers and breeders identify promising strategies to increase genetic gain in crop plants.  The capital will also support additional field trials and other product development activities for traits that increase crop productivity by improving photosynthesis.

“The immense value, and challenge, of improving photosynthesis in crops is well known to many who have attempted more traditional brute-force techniques.  We believe that Benson Hill’s demonstrated experience in rational design coupled with the close relationship with the Danforth Plant Science Center positions the company at the forefront of complex trait development,” stated Scott Horner, managing director of Middleland Capital.  “A key part of our selection process is not only picking teams with deep technical acumen, but also with a demonstrated capacity to execute commercially.  All boxes, and then some, are checked here.”

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