Cleantech Startup Vestaron Raises $445,000 in Series B Financing

Vestaron has raised about $445,000 from the sale of equity, according to SEC documents.

Overall, the startup, based in Kalamazoo, MI, is seeking $8 million, the filing says. So far, Vestaron has raised $9 million from investors including Open Prairie Ventures, the Southwest Michigan Life Science Venture Fund, and the Michigan Strategic Fund. These investors have committed $3 million in Series B funding to Vestaron.

The company is developing platform technology, first created at the University of Connecticut Medical School, that effectively eliminates insects without harming the environment.

Vestaron says its technology is less toxic than pesticides because it is based on peptides that spiders use to kill insects. The company also claims its peptides are more effective at controlling insects. While other insecticide makers only target one metabolic pathway (the way insects process food and create energy), Vestaron says its technology can disrupt three unique metabolic pathways. As a result, insects are less likely to develop resistance to its products than traditional insecticides, the company says.

“It’s interesting science,” says Pat Morand, managing director of the SWMF Life Science Fund, which first funded the company in 2007. “It’s clean technology that can meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Vestaron says it will focus on four different types of customers-agriculture, animal health, public health, and lawn and gardens—a combined market value of $15.4 billion. The company plans to launch its first EPA-registered product in 2013 and hopes to break even by 2015.

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