USA – Inari, a US biotechnology company revolutionizing agricultural R&D, has entered into a US$45 million loan and security agreement with K2 HealthVentures (K2HV), a life sciences-focused investment firm.
The funds complement Inari’s recent US$89 million equity raise. Inari plans to use the funding to accelerate the development and commercialization of breakthrough gene-edited crops that address the challenges of climate change and improve productivity.
The company says that the focus, for now, is on classic row crops such as maize and soybean, but the team hopes to improve a wide range of plants, including heirloom varieties and even crops suitable for vertical farming.
“Our alliance with K2HV enhances our financial position,” commented Ponsi Trivisvavet, chief executive officer of Inari.
“It supports further expansion of our research and technology platform, as well as the development and commercialization of products that align sustainability with cutting-edge biotechnology.
“The K2HV team has a strong understanding of our innovative approach to plant breeding and confidence in our vision of agriculture.”
Inari has already achieved several key product milestones. Gene-editing technologies have been proven in tomato field trials, and Inari’s first generation of proprietary improved corn and soybeans are currently being tested in greenhouses.
The company is gearing up to introduce its gene-edited hybrid corn and soybean varieties commercially in the near future.
“We’re excited to support Inari’s vision to create value through innovative scientific discovery and products focused on sustainability,” said Parag Shah, founding managing director and CEO of K2 HealthVentures.
“This financing follows our strategy of partnering with pioneering life science technology companies with world class management that aim to deliver solutions for critical global challenges.”
Inari uses genetic technologies and data science to develop next-generation seeds that seek to reduce the natural resources required to grow our food, while providing farmers with more choice, performance, and value.
The company was founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2016 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with additional sites in West Lafayette, Indiana and Ghent, Belgium.
In the beginning of April, the company appointed Tara Levine to its leadership team in the newly created role of chief growth officer.
Levine will drive Inari’s efforts to deliver strategic commercial expansion and further develop the brand of the agriculture technology business.