In early August 2019, Benson Hill Biosystems filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the firm had raised $32 million in incremental funds. This fundraising filing follows a November filing of a $65 million raise, including regional funds – Mercury Fund, iSelect Ventures, and Lewis & Clark Ventures.
The company provides a variety of software and machine learning solutions to empower the development of additional genetic strains of crops for food and ingredients. According to the company’s website, the primary product has a variety of unique design features – “The CropOS design platform enables our partners to differentiate their products in bold new ways. It comes down to leveraging the genetic potential of plants across breeding, gene editing, and trait targeting.” Functionally, this means that Benson Hill Biosystems’ algorithms can help researchers identify and utilized desirable traits in a variety of crops to make better food, faster.
Benson Hill Biosystems was founded in 2012 by CEO Matt Crisp. In a recent interview, Crisp explained why Benson Hill Biosystems was so important to the industry: “Our goal is to be a platform to help build a community of innovators, as well as develop our own products; being an independent platform company empowering innovators with the technology and capabilities they need to develop novel crop products, decreases the likelihood and suitability of us being acquired by a strategic player as we look to maintain the integrity of our model.” This quote from AgFunder also included insight that Benson Hill Biosystems is signaling plans to raise additional capital and eventually go public through an IPO.
Benson Hill Biosystems is considered by many of our St. Louis insiders as one of the leading early-stage companies in the region. And, Benson Hill Biosystems buoys an incredibly strong St. Louis early agtech ecosystem that includes – Agrivida – which also had a significant, $3.9 million raise in June 2019. For more information regarding this cluster, the St. Louis Chamber has produced a recent, excellent review of the AgTech Cluster in St. Louis, which can be found at http://www.stlregionalchamber.com/docs/default-document-library/emerging_agtech_boom_report.pdf.
For more information on Benson Hill Biosystems, please check out their website at http://www.bensonhillbio.com
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