AgBiome, a US-based developer of agricultural products to improve crop productivity, has raised $14.5m in its series A round from a consortium including undisclosed corporate venturing units and the scion of a UK-based food retailer.

Venture capital firm Polaris Partners led the A round and was joined by peers Arch Venture Partners and Harris & Harris Group, David Sainsbury, scion of the eponymous UK-based food retailer’s Innotech Advisers investment vehicle, and “additional strategic investors”.

Mike Koziel, AgBiome co-founder and chief executive of separate company Xinehta, said: “This is the first time to our knowledge that several major agriculture companies have co-invested at an early stage in an ag[riculture] biotech company. Their involvement creates an excellent starting point for future collaborations and market access.”

Crop companies Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta and BASF all have large facilities near to AgBiome’s office in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The other co-founders of AgBiome include:…

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