US-based agritech firm Inari raises $89m from SG’s EDBI, others

Agricultural products - legumes, chickpeas, lentils and beans

Inari, a US-based agritech company, has raised $89 million in a Series C round from Singapore’s EDBI, the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), Acre Venture Partners and other investors.

In a statement, Inari said the fresh capital will be invested in Inari’s computational and genomic tools, which allow plant scientists to identify and develop knowledge of a seed’s potential to achieve field performance.

Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO of Inari said that its technology allows them to uncover the enormous and untapped potential of natural diversity found in seeds.

“We have the ability to rapidly enhance nature’s genetic diversity and provide ways to increase yields, save water and reduce agriculture’s impact on our land and climate,” said Trivisvavet. “Our technologies address not only the needs of growers, but those of the environment as well.”

Stagnating innovation in the seed industry has also led to industry consolidation and limited choices for growers – an area that Inari seeks to address.

“Inari is at the forefront of a new wave of innovation that has the potential to completely reshape agriculture. The company has developed leading-edge technologies and a fresh approach to plant breeding. Its products will substantially improve crop productivity, reduce environmental impact and make farming more profitable for everyone in the value chain,” said Robert Berendes, executive partner at Flagship Pioneering.

Inari added that the funds will also be used to drive commercialisation of high-performing corn and soybean seeds in the US market. Meanwhile, Singapore-based EDBI, one of its Asian investors, is eyeing opportunities to tap on Inari’s technology for use in productivity crops in Asia.

Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and president of EDBI said: “Their cutting-edge technology in gene editing for a variety of common agricultural crops could yield high-productivity crops in Singapore, across Asia and worldwide. EDBI looks forward to helping Inari harness their technology to capture opportunities in Asia.”

Founded in 2016, Inari is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US. It has additional sites in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Ghent, Belgium, with a growing team of over 120 staff members.

The company last raised its $40 million Series B round from Acre Venture Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments in August last year, according to Crunchbase data.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.