Less than one month after emerging from stealth, ag biotech startup Inari Agriculture is unveiling $40 million in capital to accelerate its work on gene-editing for crop breeding.
The Series B round of financing for Cambridge, MA-based Inari adds Acre Venture Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments as investors. Inari was founded in 2016 by venture capital firm Flagship Pioneering, which had provided the startup’s initial financial backing. In total, Inari says it has now raised $55 million in financing.
Inari says it is uses CRISPR gene-editing technology to develop seeds customized with the traits that help a crop grow best in the local conditions—humidity, temperatures, soil type—where it will be planted. So far, the startup has tested its approach in the lab and in greenhouses. CEO Ponsi Trivisvavet told Xconomy last month that Inari aims to start field trials during next year’s growing season. Wheat, soybean, and corn are the company’s initial crop targets.
With the new financing, Inari says it can ramp up its work and grow its staff, which now totals more than 80. Here’s more on Inari’s plans to develop what it calls “personalized seeds for farmers.”