Currently, agriculture consumes 50 percent of habitable land and 70 percent of the earth’s fresh water. The biotechnology company Andes from Emeryville, CA, is committed to put these resources to better use through more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices. Now, the company has bagged $15 million Series A funding.
Growth and expansion plans
The investment round was led by Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG along wiith participation from Cavallo Ventures, new investors Builders VC, Germin8, Accelr8 and Wilson Sonsini, and existing investors KdT Ventures and Endurance.
Andes will use a part of the investment to mount its self-sustaining, nitrogen-fixing seeds across the US market and expand to South America. The remaining funds will be used to advance further research and development into Andes’ complementary nature-based permanent carbon capture technology.
Microprime seed treatment technology
The biotech company has developed a novel seed treatment technology called ‘Microprime’, which reduces the necessity of synthetic fertilizers. The company has also developed a process for seamlessly integrating seeds with a unique library of microbes that colonize the seed’s root structure. The result is a process known as biological nitrogen fixation, which enables the crop to draw nitrogen from the air instead from the synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
These self-sustaining Microprime seeds from Andes decreases the necessity for synthetic fertilizers.
Eyes to reduce CO2 emissions
Besides this, Andes is working on microbial strains for nature-based permanent carbon capture solutions to store CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil.