Biome Makers Inc., the international standard-bearer for functional soil biology analysis, today announced a $15M Series B round led by Prosus Ventures, with the participation of Seaya Ventures, Viking Global Investors, JME Ventures and Pymwymic.
Founded in 2015 by Adrian Ferrero and Dr. Alberto Acedo, Biome Makers has spent the last few years building its BeCrop® and Gheom® proprietary products to promote sustainable farming practices using soil biology standards analytics and developing artificial intelligence-based tools to determine the most sustainable solutions for crops.
Alberto Acedo and Adrián Ferrero, founders of Biome Makers
The new funds will go towards the company’s next phase of growth, accelerating the global expansion of BeCrop® as the industry standard for functional soil analysis and sustainable soil health recovery, and Gheom® as an independent assessment program measuring the impact of crop inputs and farming practices to support personalized agriculture.
Agriculture’s current understanding of soil health is very chemistry-based, overlooking the biological layer of the soil microbiome, which comprises all the genetic material within a microbiota and is responsible for converting soil nutrients into forms that plants can intake. Until the recent microbiome breakthroughs from Biome Makers, agronomists have never had access to the kind of vital data required to make predictive crop decisions based on the soil functionalities.
By better understanding these soil microbes and, in turn, better understanding crop needs, growers can boost food production and build efficiencies around crop yields. As the global population is expected to grow to 10B by 2050 and global food demand is subsequently expected to grow by 25-50% , this is imperative.
Roric Paulman, the owner of Paulman Farms, a large farm in Southwest Nebraska, is one of the farmers facing this challenge: “BeCrop results have provided important data about our soil’s fertility and capacity for carbon sequestration. I am saving on fertilizers and implementing more efficient practices to increase my returns”
“We are on a mission to restore the health and fertility of the soil and develop a more sustainable and respectful way to do agriculture,” says Adrian Ferrero, co-founder, and CEO of Biome Makers. “After building strong relationships with our customers and expanding the operation to Europe and Central America, we recognize the need to scale as we grow, increasing access to our unique tools for the agriculture industry. We’re excited to partner with top-tier investors who share our vision for building a sustainable farming future.”
Biome Makers has become the AgTech soil analysis company of choice for the world’s farming community, empowering agriculture to embrace next-level solutions. The company has expanded U.S. operations into Europe and Central America and plans to expand its operation to South America, Asia, Australia, and much of Africa, where a significant company footprint has already been established.
“Biome Makers has created a truly innovative offering, which comes from the founders’ deep expertise and passion to work in agriculture and soil health,” said Banafsheh Fathieh, Head of Americas Investments at Prosus Ventures. “Prosus Ventures invests in industries around the world where innovation can significantly address big societal needs and we believe in Biome Makers’ potential to fundamentally change how farmers interact with their soil, yielding a major societal impact with regards to fresh food supply. We’re thrilled to join as an investor to support the company in its next phase of growth; we’re just starting to see their vision unfold and we’re excited for what’s to come.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Biome Makers’ announcing the first AI virtual assistant for sustainable farming in partnership with Bayer Crop Science. This game-changing technology employs data analytics to forecast the outcome of products prior to application, helping farmers and agronomists identify what their soil needs to improve health and sustainably promote crop yield.
Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors in markets including India, Russia, and Brazil. Through its ventures team, Prosus invests in areas including health, logistics, blockchain, social commerce and more. Prosus actively seeks new opportunities to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to improve people’s everyday lives.