AgraQuest raises $17.7M in financing round

By March 25, 2011

AgraQuest Inc. in Davis, which researches and develops biopesticides and low-chem technologies for sustainable agriculture, announced that it has raised $17.7 million in a financing round that will further its efforts to develop and market innovative products to feed an expanding global population while preserving environmental resources.

London-based Generation Investment Management LLP acted as co-lead investor in the round, which also included a significant investment from an existing AgraQuest shareholder, Otter Capital. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance AgraQuest’s biopesticide research and development program as well as to expand technology in-licensing and acquisition efforts.

The company develops products for the control of plant insects and diseases, while minimizing the impact on the environment. AgraQuest’s pipeline of new natural product active ingredients features human and environmental safety profiles that are “vastly superior to traditional pesticides,” the company said.

“We are very pleased to complete this round of financing with both inside and new investors,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO of AgraQuest, in a news release. “It shows that current investors are excited about our product portfolio — both current and pipeline, and that our strategy is validated with a new investor of the sophistication of Generation Investment Management.

“As we all work to meet the challenge of responsibly feeding 9 billion people by 2050, AgraQuest is uniquely positioned to bring the benefits of sustainable, low-chem farming to growers around the world.”

John Pasquesi, chairman of AgraQuest’s board of directors, added, “We welcome Generation Investment Management to the AgraQuest team. Their commitment to long-term investments in sustainable businesses represents a strong endorsement of the future prospects of the company.”

AgraQuest has received several environmental awards including the Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the U.S. EPA for the discovery and commercialization of Serenade. It also received the prestigious Global Frost & Sullivan Growth Leadership Award in 2009 for the biopesticides market. For more information, visit www.agraquest.com.

Special to The Enterprise

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