Policy & Regulation
Andes Raises 15m in Series A Funding Co-Led by Leaps by Bayer and Cavallo Ventures
15 September 2021 - - Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of German healthcare company Bayer AG, has co-led a 15m series A investment round in US-based biotechnology company Andes, with Cavallo Ventures, Bayer said.

Other new investors Builders VC, Germin8, Accelr8 and Wilson Sonsini participated, alongside existing investors KdT Ventures and Endurance.

Through its novel seed treatment technology, called 'Microprime', Andes is reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. The California-based company has developed a process for seamlessly integrating seeds with a unique library of microbes that colonize the seed's root structure.

This kick-starts a process known as biological nitrogen fixation, enabling the crop to draw down nitrogen from the air instead of relying on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

By developing self-sustaining Microprime seeds, Andes reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers, which require huge amounts of energy to produce and account for 3%, or 1.5 gigatons, of global greenhouse emissions.

In enabling microbes to ride along with the seeds as they get planted, Andes' Microprime technology provides a highly scalable solution that saves growers time and money.

The first generation of Microprime treated corn seeds will provide the equivalent of 30 to 50 lbs/acre of nitrogen through biological nitrogen fixation. The company is creating second generation microbes that target doubling the amount of nitrogen provided by the Microprime seeds.

Andes is also developing microbial strains for nature-based permanent carbon capture solutions to sequester and store CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil.

This initially focuses on capturing carbon via microbial-powered corn crops. If deployed successfully at scale, it could capture gigaton-levels of carbon from corn and other crops.

With the world's total annual greenhouse gas emissions estimated to be 50 gigatons, nature-based carbon capture could make a sizeable contribution to global decarbonisation.

Agriculture currently consumes 50% of habitable land and 70% of the earth's fresh water. Andes and Leaps by Bayer are committed to better using these resources through more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices.

Andes will use part of the funds to scale its self-sustaining, nitrogen-fixing seeds across the US market and expand into South America.

The balance of funding will be invested to advance further research and development into Andes' complementary nature-based permanent carbon capture technology.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population.

Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses.

At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world.

In fiscal 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of EUR 41.4bn. R and D expenses before special items amounted to 4.9 bn euros.

Andes is a biotechnology company founded in Emeryville, CA, in 2018. Andes develops biological solutions that enable positive action for fighting climate change.