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Benson Hill Biosystems raises $60 million from Google-parent Alphabetqrcode

Sep. 11, 2018

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Sep. 11, 2018
Greenhouse technician Brittany Beisiegel with Benson Hill Biosystems at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in 2016. Benson Hill is one of the companies that the Missouri Technology Corporation invested in. Photo by Laurie Skrivan

Benson Hill Biosystems, a fast-growing agricultural technology firm in Creve Coeur, has raised $60 million from investors led by GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc.

Matthew Crisp, Benson Hill's chief executive, said in a statement that the funding "expanded our base of investors who recognize the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers."

In addition to GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, new investors include Activant Capital of Greenwich, Conn., Collaborative Fund of New York and Tao Capital Partners of San Francisco. Several of Benson Hill's previous investors, including Lewis & Clark Ventures of Clayton and iSelect Fund of St. Louis, also participated in the Series C capital round.

Benson Hill said the capital would be used to advance CropOS, its computational and genomic editing platform, and expand capacity to deliver improved crops.

St. Louis County is working on an expansion of its Helix Center, a plant-science incubator, to accommodate Benson Hill's growth. The company also has offices in North Carolina, but most of its 80 employees are based in the St. Louis area and it recently finished relocating back-office jobs here.

Benson Hill combines machine learning with genome editing to accelerate crop development. The company also raised $25 million in venture capital last year.

Source: stltoday.com

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