AgFunder Announces Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies Raises $3.4M Series A

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The Seattle-based agriculture biotechnology company attracted industry player Twynam Agricultural Group to lead the round.

Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies raises $3.4m Series A Funding

Agfunder has announced that Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies (AST), a Seattle-based agriculture biotechnology company developing seed treatments to protect crops from drought and other environmental stresses, has closed a $3.4 million Series A funding.

AST attracted industry player Twynam Agricultural Group, an Australian ag producer, to lead the round. Twynam was joined by a group of impact investors. AST conducted their fundraising campaign through AgFunder, the online investment platform for agriculture and food technology startups.

“Our hope with this funding was to bring on a partner with deep experience and ties in agriculture, in addition to providing capital to help us grow in the short and long term,” said Dr. Russell Rodriguez, Cofounder and CEO of AST. “With Twynam Group, we got this. And, given their experience in Australia, we’ve identified product lines to expedite for that market.”

Biological inputs and treatments are one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture and AST has a unique position within this marketplace. Its first product, a microbial seed coating treatment called BioEnsure, helps corn crops become more resistant to extreme heat, cold, and drought. In field trials, AST has seen yield increases of up to 85% under severe drought conditions, and as high as 15% under low stress conditions.

“AST is at the forefront of this science. They have a 20+ year legacy of top scientists working on it,” says Johnny Kahlbetzer, director at Twynam Group. “The technology seems solid and we can see significant impacts on producers in many areas, especially the more variable climatic areas such as Australia. We're looking forward to working with the team to grow the business internationally.”

The company’s founders, Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Redman, began their work in the 1990s with an initial focus on native species -- trying to understand how specific plants thrived in adverse conditions. They were able to isolate microbes responsible for this, and then made a shift to agriculture projects to develop sustainable biologicals utilizing these microbes.

After focusing on R&D and field trials, AST is about to hit its next milestone. Last November, it executed an agreement with international seed distributor INCOTEC, a Dutch company with a global distribution network. AST is delivering its first order this week for corn, which is its first commercially-available product. AST also has treatments for wheat, soybeans, cotton and vegetables, which have been tested and will be available soon for commercialization.

The new round of funding will also be used for the company’s international expansion. It’s currently conducting field tests in India, Australia, South America and soon in Europe. Given the size of the Indian market, and its proximity to Asia, AST plans to open a subsidiary in India in 2016.

“AST has a smart corporate strategy leveraging the team’s skill in R&D to produce innovative products whilst utilizing well established marketing and distribution channels,” says Michael Dean, Cofounder and COO at AgFunder. “For a company in biologicals, the pipeline is key, and AST has a very solid outlook.”

About Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies

We are a socially conscious biotechnology company addressing the greatest limitations to agricultural and natural ecosystems globally: drought, salty soils, and temperature stresses. Our approach is based on more than 150 years of research on symbiotic interactions between plants and microorganisms. For more information, visit:

About AgFunder

AgFunder is the leading investment platform connecting accredited investors with world-class agriculture and food investment opportunities from around the globe. Every project featured on AgFunder is evaluated for its economic and technical merits by our expert team of agriculture and business experts, providing potential investors access to some of the most promising agriculture investment opportunities. For more information, visit

Contact: Melissa Tilney, melissa(at)agfunder(dot)com

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Melissa Tilney, Cofounder & Head of Marketing
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since: 11/2012
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