Funding caps off year of major milestones for the company’s patented Nematode Pheromone Crop Biocontrol
DAVIS, California – May 11, 2021– Pheronym, a bio-agtech pest management company, has announced it has closed $242,000 in seed funding led by the Sacramento Angels. Other funders in the oversubscribed round included regional business leaders, agtech industry leaders and growers, including Dr. Pam Marrone, Monte Bottens and Mark Haney. Since 2017, the company has secured nearly $900,000 in grants. The company also received $250,000 of funding as part of IndieBio’s Cohort 5 as well as recently receiving $75,000 from Thrive Accelerator, bringing their total grant and venture investment funding to nearly $1.5 million.
The funding comes on the heels of a string of recent successes, including:
- Being one of 12 companies selected out of 700 for the world’s leading acceleration program Thrive by SVG which includes $75,000 in funding.
- Receiving a US patent on the company’s core technology.
- Signing a 5-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the USDA.
- Conducted successful tests of its technology aboard the International Space Station (ISS)
- Winner of the Sacramento Innovation Award in Food and Agribusiness.
- Being selected as one of top “20 promising companies developing the future of farming technology” by the C&EN Magazine Discovery Report Feeding the World.
- Published 4 peer reviewed studies confirming the efficacy of its technology. Two of these publications were recognized as research highlights by the Society of Invertebrate Pathology.
- Founder Fatma Kaplan featured in the book “From Farm To Incubators” by Amy Wu as well as articles in Worth, Comstock’s, the C&EN Magazine Discovery Report, the American Chemical Society Magazines, Synbiobeta, and is the “winner of Applied Chemical Ecology Award” by International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE)
- Invited to be keynote/plenary speaker by scientific societies including Society of Nematologists, ISCE 2022, International Congress of Nematology.
“We are grateful that the Sacramento Angels, Mr. Bottens, Mr. Haney and Dr. Marrone have expressed confidence in our leadership team and technology through this funding” said Dr. Fatma Kaplan, CEO of Pheronym. “Their investment will play an important role in or efforts to deploy our solution at an industrial scale and will contribute to a dramatic increase in sustainable agriculture.”
“We are thrilled to back a female-led, local company on the cutting edge of innovation in AgTech. Pheronym has created a breakthrough approach to pest control that delivers better ROI for the farmer while also being significantly better for the environment. We are excited about the innovation potential of the Capital Region to change the future of agriculture and look forward to playing an ongoing role in making that happen.” said, John Peters, the Board Chair and President of the Sacramento Angels.
“Fatma and the Pheronym team are a fantastic example of the increasing number of quality investment opportunities we are seeing in the Sacramento region: a founding team with world-class potential, a patent-protected innovative solution that is solving a critical challenge, and a sizable market. I am excited to participate in the round alongside leaders like Pam Marrone and look forward to supporting Pheronym’s journey to success!” said Mark Haney, Founding Partner of Growth Factory Ventures and Board Chair of Growth Factory Accelerator.
“Agriculture will soon experience a massive paradigm shift from a conventional chemistry-based approach to a regenerative biological-based approach. Pheronym’s leadership and products will be a key part of making this shift possible. As a Regenerative Ag Technology investor, I am very optimistic about the future of food and Pheronym’s role in enabling Regenerative Agriculture.” – Monte Bottens, Farmer, Agribusiness Owner, Regenerative AgTech Investor.
‘I have been advising Pheronym from their early days and am so pleased to see their progress in developing their breakthrough pheromone-based biocontrol for pest insects and nematodes,’ said Dr. Pam Marrone, founder of Marrone Bio Innovations
How Pheronym’s Breakthrough Works
Pheronym’s breakthrough increased the effectiveness of pest insect-killing nematodes’ ability to control pests, naturally, in agriculture. While nematodes are regularly used in pest control, commercially available nematodes do not disperse efficiently or as effectively as they can when they are applied to a field. This is because the insect target is mobile, so nematodes, which become dormant quickly, need to always be actively moving and seeking an insect host. Pheronym’s approach directly impacts this problem – significantly improving the mobility and aggressiveness of the nematodes making them more effective in killing pests. Pheronym also has shown that plant-parasitic nematodes also respond to pheromones that can repel these yield-sapping plant-parasitic nematode pests from the plant roots.
Award-winning Pheronym is an ag-biotech pest management company that enables sustainable farming through its novel platform of nematode pheromones. The company’s patented solution uses a new pheromone to control plant-parasitic nematodes (microscopic roundworms) in an eco-friendly way and enhances beneficial nematodes’ efficacy to eliminate pest insects. Learn more at http://www.pheronym.com
About Sacramento Angels
The Sacramento Angels is a group of individuals who invest in early-stage companies throughout Northern California and beyond. The group has been in existence since 2000 and has invested in more than 100 companies over its lifetime. The Sacramento Angels membership includes experienced entrepreneurs, CEOs, industry executives, lawyers, and venture capitalists who bring a wealth of experience and practical know-how to help their portfolio companies succeed. Key areas of support often include board membership, business strategy & implementation, team building, networking, and fundraising. Sacramento Angels membership is open to individuals who are accredited investors with the experience and desire to invest in and work directly with emerging technology companies. Learn more at: http://www.sacangels.com
Karl Cameron Schiller