Provivi® Raises $85M To Fight Pests with Pheromones
Santa Monica, California, October 15, 2019 – Provivi, Inc., an emerging crop protection company, today announced it has completed an $85 million Series C financing. The round was co-led by Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Fund (“Pontifax Agtech”) and a global investment fund. The round also included new investor Tybourne Capital Management. Existing investors Kairos Ventures, Spruce Capital, Lanx Capital, and BASF Venture Capital also participated in the round.
“The Series C financing is a significant milestone in the growth of our company and builds upon an exciting year where we scaled the production of key pheromone active ingredients, continued to demonstrate the efficacy of our products in row crops, and worked closely with farmers to demonstrate the value being created by our pheromones in field trials,” said Dr. Pedro Coelho, Co-Founder and CEO of Provivi. “The extraordinary conditions facing growers all over the world caused by invasive pests renews our sense of urgency to scale our solutions.”
Provivi is developing a family of safer, effective, and economical solutions for crop protection based on pheromones as a foundation for integrated pest management. Pheromones are natural products used by insects of the same species to facilitate mating. The application of pheromones to a field allows for the control of damaging pests while preserving beneficial insects. Provivi’s patented production methods enable a step change in the cost of manufacturing pheromones, allowing use of this proven approach in large-acreage crops such as corn, rice, and soy.
"We look forward to partnering with Provivi’s world class team to create an industry leader in high efficacy, sustainable crop protection," said Dr. Philip Erlanger, co-Managing Partner of Pontifax AgTech. “Regulatory and consumer-driven pressures, coupled with growing pest resistance, necessitate alternatives to traditional chemical applications in crop protection markets. Provivi’s pheromone technology provides growers with a disruptive crop protection technology that directly addresses these needs.” Dr. Erlanger will join the Company’s board of directors. Dr. Barbara Mazur, a globally recognized expert in plant biology and a member of Pontifax AgTech’s Strategic Advisory Board, will serve as a board observer.
Mr. Bosun Hau, Managing Director and Co-Head of Private Equity at Tybourne Capital Management, will also serve as a board observer.
Proceeds from the Series C financing will support the launch of Provivi’s pheromone products as part of the Company’s mission to bring this innovative solution to farmers around the world.
Pheromones are naturally produced substances that have been commercially used to disrupt the mating of insect pests for over 30 years. They are currently applied in approximately two million acres of high value permanent crops such as apples, grapes, and nuts. The benefits of using pheromones are well established in the scientific literature: they enable a reduction of harmful residues on food while preserving biodiversity.
Provivi was founded in 2013 by Dr. Pedro Coelho, Dr. Peter Meinhold, and 2018 Nobel laureate Dr. Frances Arnold. We are a ground-breaking science-based company creating scalable, safer insect control technology that will improve the quality of life for all humans and our world. For more information, see www.provivi.com.
About Pontifax AgTech
We are a pioneering growth capital investor in food and agriculture technology. We invest globally in growing businesses that improve agricultural productivity, nutrition, health, sustainability and supply chain efficiency. See www.pontifaxagtech.com.
About Tybourne Capital Management
Tybourne Capital Management is a global investment manager headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in San Francisco. Tybourne invests in public and private equity markets and manages long duration capital on behalf of prominent non-profits, university endowments, sovereigns, corporate pensions and individuals. Tybourne makes growth investments in the TMT, Consumer, FIG, and Healthcare sectors.