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Inari completes a $40M Series B financing roundqrcode

−− Interview with Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO of Inari

Aug. 10, 2018

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Aug. 10, 2018
This week, Inari, a transformational plant breeding company completes a $40M Series B financing round, bringing its total funding to $55M. Founder Flagship Pioneering is joined by Acre Venture Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments in this financing. Additional funding will support Inari’s continued investment in transformational plant breeding technology research and product development.

To better understand Inari, AgroPages invited Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO of Inari, to share the company's unique business model, core techniques and also the target maket.

1. First of all, could you please introduce your company?

Inari is a transformational plant breeding company that is dramatically changing the seed growing process to be more predictable and precise, more affordable and faster, and respectful of the environment.

2. Inari is developing personalized seeds for growers; does this distinguish Inari from other seed/biotech companies? Where does the idea come from?

• Inari is focused on improving the essence of the seed vs. changing, for example, the microbiome of the seed’s environment (as some other companies)

• We will design seeds by first collecting data about a particular growing environment, and then analyzing which genetic traits within the seed will produce the highest-performing crops.

• The origins of this concept are:
    - Years of experience in agriculture and biosciences without seeing the results necessary to help farmers make a living, sustain the environment and grow healthy foods; as well as
    - Brilliant advancements made in medical field with human genome and gene sequencing technologies that we are applying to plants.

3. What’s the core technique for Inari?

We are taking a multi-pronged approach to address a large range of farm conditions and challenges, using a unique blend of biology, agronomy, data science, and software engineering to create affordable and effective seeds.

Let’s think about a wheat grower in Kansas whose crops have low protein quality and limited productivity; she’s losing money but doesn’t want to do more damage to the environment.

The Inari holistic process would entail work to develop customized seeds by:
    - reviewing the variables of her existing soil, farm temperature, elevation and seed
    - identifying specific genes that can significantly increase the uptake of nitrogen
    - recognizing the exact changes needed and only making those alterations
    - validating our findings in optimal lab conditions rather than large, costly field trials

4. The Inari research team consists of a range of diverse horizons, from plant biology to medical research, is it normal for a plant breeding technology company?

No other start-up is aggregating multiple technologies for plant breeding, drawing from expertise in biochemistry, environmental sciences, genome editing technology, intellectual property, life sciences, molecular and micro-biology, next-generation sequencing, physiology, plant biology, precision agriculture, and research and development.

5. What’s the target market for Inari? US market only, or Global market?

Our work will start in the United States where we have existing relationships. But we also have employees and advisors based elsewhere. We are focused on worldwide environmental, economic and humanitarian challenges and will operate like a global company.

6. What’s the next step, what can farmers expect from Inari?

While the buyers of our products will be independent seed growers and plant breeding companies, the Inari solution always starts with the farmer: we ask, what are the exact issues that need to be addressed for this individual’s business?

We will be reaching out to farmers directly and through our partners as we move toward late 2019, when we expect to have product in the marketplace.

Source: AgroNews

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