Mystic-based crop health company Enko announces $70 million in Series C funding
Mystic — Enko, a crop health company headquartered in the former Monsanto facility on Maritime Drive, on Wednesday announced it has raised $70 million in Series C funding, bringing its total capital raised to $140 million.
Startups get Series A funding to launch their product and Series B funding to expand, while Series C funding — usually the last stage of fundraising for a startup — is a stage for established companies ready for significant product or market expansion, and is often in preparation for acquisition or to start publicly trading its stock.
Inspired by innovations in the pharmaceutical industry, Enko is developing products that target crop-damaging pests. The company moved from Massachusetts to Mystic in 2020. Its leading product is a range of herbicides.
Jacqueline Heard founded the company in 2017, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation led a $45 million Series B round of financing.
The company said in a news release it will use its Series C funding to advance its crop protection products, and to expand a technology platform that finds new and better chemistries, or chemical formulas, to target pests and weeds.
Enko is working with the agricultural company Syngenta and pharmaceutical company Bayer.
“Reliance on outdated chemistries has led to rampant resistance that is threatening farmer livelihoods and our food supply,” Heard said in the news release. She said the platform “increases the scale and discovery rate for new solutions,” thus “bringing safe and effective products to growers better, faster and cheaper.”
Nufarm, a global agricultural chemical company headquartered in Australia, led the Series C funding round.
“We were early investors in Enko and have followed the performance of their pipeline in the lab and field over the last two years with increased interest,” Nufarm Managing Director and CEO Greg Hunt said in the news release. “As an agricultural innovator, Nufarm’s strategy is to partner with like-minded companies who recognize that innovation and technology are the future for sustainable agriculture practices.”
Other investors are Alumni Ventures Group, Anterra Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Endeavor8, Finistere Ventures, Germin8 Ventures, Novalis LifeSciences, Taher Gozal, TO Ventures Food and Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund.