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Ag company closes on major funding round

(photo courtesy of Inari)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Boston-based company with a large presence in West Lafayette has closed on a $208 million Series D round of funding. Inari, which opened its Seed Foundry in the Tippecanoe County city in 2018, says it will use the funding to further accelerate the development of its science platform and product development for corn and soybeans in North and South America.

Inari says the funding round will allow it to “advance its mission to restore diversity in food by unlocking the full potential of seed to sustainably transform the global food system.”

“We are taking a nature positive approach to advance new possibilities with seed using predictive design and advanced multiplex gene editing,” Ponsi Trivisvavet, chief executive officer of Inari, said in a news release. “Our technology matches the complexity and diversity of nature to address the needs of the planet and society. And we have the ability to enhance any seed for any geography, making our products – and impact – globally scalable.”

In a 2018 edition of our Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter, Trivisvavet told Kylie Veleta the goal of the Seed Foundry was to produce parent seeds at a faster and more efficient rate. The company said the facility would cut development costs by up to 90%.

The funding round was co-led by Flagship Pioneering, which founded the company. Participation in the round also included existing investors such as Alexandria Venture Investments, Investment Corp. of Dubai, Banque Pictet and Rivas Capital, as well as new investors G Squared and Pavillion Capital.

“When we founded Inari, we had a simple yet bold and compelling vision to fundamentally transform the global food system through using cutting-edge science and technology to unlock the full potential of seeds,” said Robert Berendes, executive partner at Flagship Pioneering. “At the same time, we believed we could do so in a way that restores our planet, significantly broadens the options for farmers and greatly expands the biodiversity of the food that we eat. This fundraise is a testament to that initial vision becoming an imminent reality and being recognized as a leader in this nature positive work by investors.”

Inari did not specify whether any new jobs would be created as a result of the funding round.