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29 OCTOBER 2021
Wheatsheaf Group, the international investor in food and agriculture businesses, has co-led a $150m series D funding round with GV (formerly Google Ventures) in Benson Hill, the US food technology company whose innovative platforms enable producers and growers to create healthier, great-tasting foods and ingredient options that are both widely accessible and sustainable.
Benson Hill, of St Louis, Missouri, US, will use the funds to scale its commercial operations and its platform food innovation engine CropOS™ across multiple food and ingredients markets.
“As a firm, we are focused on investing in innovation that delivers the right calories and nourishment for a growing global population in a less commodity-driven food system,” said Stephan Dolezalek, Executive Director at Wheatsheaf Group. “We feel the culture and partners propelling Benson Hill forward will have a significant impact on the health and sustainability challenges that burden our current food system in a way that benefits society and our environment.”
CropOS™ taps nature’s genetic diversity to develop and commercialise healthier and more sustainable food and ingredient options that benefit producers and growers, food companies and ultimately, consumers.
Benson Hill leverages Cloud Biology®, a discipline combining the power of data science, machine learning and AI techniques with plant biology and genomics. CropOS™ is the platform that makes this discipline actionable, significantly accelerating the precision and speed of product development. Benson Hill’s technology platform and collaborations empower the creation of healthier and more sustainable feed, food and ingredient options that consumers are seeking, while also delivering strong crop performance that farmers demand.
With this new round of funding, Benson Hill will continue to advance Cloud Biology® and its innovation engine CropOS™, amplify partner development efforts, continue to recruit top talent, and propel the commercial launch of the first Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties in 2021, among other product launches. The company’s portfolio of high-quality soybean varieties delivers a full range of in-demand premium attributes, including better digestibility, heart-healthy omega fatty acids, and higher protein that serve the plant-based food, healthy oils, animal feed and aquaculture markets.
“As a society, we’re at a crossroads made more evident as the pandemic has revealed strengths and vulnerabilities in our food system,” said Matt Crisp, Benson Hill CEO. “Food choices that create enjoyment, make us stronger, and help preserve our environment need to be accessible to everyone, and the power of plant diversity and technology innovation can help fuel that evolution. We’re grateful for the growing coalition of investors, stakeholders, farmers and partners who recognise the urgency and opportunity of this moment to think collaboratively and modernise food production.”
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