Pivot Bio, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of an alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer for U.S. corn farmers, raised $70m in Series B funding.
The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, with participation from Temasek. In conjunction with the funding, Cooper Rinzler of Breakthrough Energy and Dheeraj Mehta of Temasek will join Pivot Bio’s board of directors.
The company intends to use the funds to strengthen the commercial launch of nitrogen-producing microbes for U.S. corn farmers, conduct research and development activities for its second-generation product, a seed treatment option, as well as introduce products beyond the U.S. in markets such as Brazil, Argentina and Canada.
Led by Karsten Temme, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder, Pivot Bio identifies specific microbes in a crop’s own roots that have the innate ability to produce nitrogen. Through its proprietary non-transgenic technology, the company reawakens the microbes’ capability to produce nitrogen and designed a product that farmers apply in furrow at planting. The microbes adhere to the root and deliver nitrogen in a timely and efficient manner.
As the first nitrogen-producing microbial product available for U.S. corn farmers, Pivot Bio PROVENTM is already approved for use in states that represent about half of the U.S. corn producing market. Additional state approvals are also in process for 2018 and 2019.