ST. LOUIS — Benson Hill, which has developed a CropOS platform that accelerates the precision and speed of product development, has closed on a $150 million Series D funding round led by Wheatsheaf Group and GV (formerly Google Ventures).
CropOS taps nature’s genetic diversity to develop and commercialize healthier and more sustainable food and ingredient options that benefit farms, food companies and consumers, according to St. Louis-based Benson Hill. The funding will assist the food technology company in deploying its platform technology, expanding partner development across the supply chain and scaling product commercialization efforts.
The funding should propel the launch of high-protein soybean varieties in 2021, as well as other product launches.
“As a society, we’re at a crossroads made more evident as the pandemic has revealed strengths and vulnerabilities in our food system,” said Matt Crisp, chief executive officer of Benson Hill. “Food choices that create enjoyment, make us stronger and help preserve our environment need to be accessible to everyone, and the power of plant diversity and technology innovation can help fuel that evolution. We’re grateful for the growing coalition of investors, stakeholders, farmers and partners who recognize the urgency and opportunity of this moment to think collaboratively and modernize food production.”
New and returning investors included Argonautic Ventures, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Emart, GS Group, Louis Dreyfus Company, iSelect Fund, Fall Line Capital, Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, Prolog Ventures, S2G Ventures, and additional strategic and family office investors.
“The plant-based protein movement is global in scale,” said Hewie Kang, CEO of Emart, a South Korean-based retailer. “Benson Hill’s product innovations, particularly in the area of protein and nutrient density, are poised to help further accelerate the adoption of plant-based alternatives. Our investment reflects a strategic intent to help realize the vision of delivering a steady stream of more sustainable and healthy food options to a global consumer."