Epicrop Technologies Inc., a Lincoln, Neb.-based agriculture biotechnology company developing epigenetic technology to improve crop yields, raised $3.2m in Series A funding.
Backers included Kansas City-based technology and venture development company TechAccel, North Forty Ventures, Nelnet, Speedway Properties and Allen & Company.
The company intends to use the funds for science advancement.
Led by Dr. Michael Fromm, CEO and co-founder Dr. Sally Mackenzie (professor of agronomy and horticulture at the University of Nebraska Lincoln), Epicrop is advancing agriculture epigenetics, which is a type of biological information that involves changes in gene expression but does not change a plant’s DNA or add genes. In field and greenhouse trials, the company’s epigenetically improved plants – including soybeans, tomatoes and sorghum – show increased yields and stress tolerance.
Epicrop has received two Phase 1 competitive federal Small Business Innovation Research grants and is partnering with several seed industry leaders to begin improving current elite commercial varieties.