In a statement, Ascus said the funding round was also participated by Anterra Capital, Formation 8, and Cavallo Ventures, with support from various angel investors.
The company first raised $12.5 million in its Series A led by LeFrak, a US-based family-owned property company, in 2016. It also secured $5 million in debt financing last year.
The fresh capital will be used to expand the company’s customer sales and servicing teams, advance its new and existing products, and enhance its technology platform, among others.
Ascus Biosciences adds to Temasek’s portfolio of nutrition, health, and food investments. It has invested in two early-stage agri-food funds: Big Idea Ventures for alternative proteins, and Trendlines for agriculture technology. It also led the $8 million funding round in plant-based meat and seafood maker Growthwell.
Temasek also backed the first global fund of Big Idea Ventures, a New York and Singapore-based venture capital firm that invests in plant-based food, alternative protein and associated foodtech startups.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in San Diego, California, Ascus Biosciences uses novel microbial community screening methods to discover, develop, and commercialise next-generation feed additives.
Ascus Biosciences, led by chief executive officer Michael Seely, said it utilises proprietary technology platform to resolve the complexities in the native microbial communities living in highly productive and healthy animals.
From these curated insights, native microorganisms are selected and isolated from animal samples and developed into products. It has multiple microbial solutions in development, with some already in sales mode from dairy, poultry, beef feedlot, equine, to companion species.
Commenting on the investment, Formation 8 founder and general partner Jim Kim said using modern science as a way to understand animal health and nutrition is good for the world’s food supply and works in harmony with animal welfare.
“Animals are an increasingly large part of our economy and food supply, yet the majority of the existing feed additives are at least 50 years old,” Kim said.
Ascus collects thousands of samples from the gastrointestinal track of the health, high-performing, and potentially disease-challenged animals to see how the microbial communities differ, allowing the company to develop products based on animal health and nutritional needs.
“Securing this level of funding will help bring Ascus technology to farmers and pet owners seeking newer, safer and more effective microbial solutions at a much larger scale as we continue to grow our sales and customer services footprint in the USA and the world,” said Michael Seely, chief executive officer of Ascus Biosciences.