Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of global agribusiness company Wilbur-Ellis, has just announced an investment in 1955 portfolio company Crop Enhancement. The California-based company makes CropCoat, a unique protective coating being touted as an alternative to more toxic pesticides on the market.
As veterans of the biopesticide industry go, Marcus Meadows-Smith is a heavy hitter. His résumé is packed with transformative business performance at several major companies (Bayer, AgraQuest, Chemtura, among others). Currently the CEO of BioConsortia (former portfolio company of 1955 founder Andrew Chung while at Khosla), Meadows-Smith has just taken a role on the board of directors of 1955 portfolio company Crop Enhancement, an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, where he will help guide the management team on value-creation strategies for the company. Meadows-Smith was recruited by Andrew to join BioConsortia as CEO in March of 2014.
1955 portfolio company Crop Enhancement, an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, has successfully completed an initial field demonstration pilot with Cargill to validate the effectiveness of its sustainable technology for yield enhancement. The conclusion of this demonstration pilot is an important step for Cargill —one of the world’s largest cocoa processors— towards attaining its sustainability objectives defined in the Cargill Cocoa Promise, and confirms excitement by cocoa growers for an effective solution to their long-standing production challenges.
Crop Enhancement, a startup using what it dubs “sustainable chemistry” to combat crop pests and increase crop yields in the tropics, has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding.
The round was co-led by 1955 Capital, the VC firm that ex-Khosla partner Andrew Chung launched in February with a $200 million fund. This is the first investment for the fund which is focused on US and European technologies that can be exported to developing countries to solve world challenges across the energy, environment, food, agriculture, health, and education sectors.