Crop Enhancement Appoints Industry Veteran Jean Pougnier to CEO 

Pougnier brings more than 30 years of global experience as a senior agtech executive to lead the next phase of growth

SAN JOSE, Calif.— Jun 17, 2020: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable plant-based crop-protection products that protect or enhance crop yields, announced the appointment of Jean Pougnier to CEO from his former role as chief business officer, succeeding Kevin Chen, Ph.D., who moves to a new role as an independent board director of the company, effective June 22.

Pougnier takes leadership of Crop Enhancement at an opportune time in the company’s growth trajectory as further field validation of its CropCoat® technology platform brings the product towards commercialization with key partners and distributors. A highly respected, seasoned executive from the agrochemical industry, Pougnier brings decades of management and business development experience over 30+ years at industry leaders DuPont, FMC, and AMVAC. Notably, he served as global business development director for DuPont’s multi-billion-dollar crop-protection portfolio, and led business development and marketing for AMVAC prior to his joining Crop Enhancement last December.

“It’s an exciting time for Crop Enhancement. Our field trials have proven that our initial product, CropCoat, is a very effective deterrent to pests for several important crops, so we’ve engaged with key partners to optimize it for more applications,” saidPougnier. “I look forward to working closely with our partners to launch Crop Enhancement’s unique technology and provide to growers outstanding pest control in a sustainable way. I would like to thank Kevin for his strong leadership and tireless efforts, which have positioned Crop Enhancement for continued growth.”

“With a full slate of field trials placed for the 2020 season on our CropCoat platform and numerous evaluation engagements underway with agrochemical strategic partners, Crop Enhancement has officially entered into its next phase of growth,” said Chen. “With these objectives secure, I am pleased that the board has approved my nomination of Jean to succeed me to lead the charge in this next chapter of our company’s trajectory. I’m extremely proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure as CEO and thankful to have worked with such talented employees, visionary investors, and dedicated partners. Crop Enhancement has never been stronger. As a director, I’ll continue to work with Jean and our board to realize the maximum potential of our business.”

“We were thrilled to bring Jean on board last December as chief business officer, and he has proven invaluable in our efforts to identify strategic partners and establish key go-to-market relationships around the globe,” said Andrew Chung, an early investor in Crop Enhancement and managing partner at 1955 Capital. “Jean’s extensive leadership, deep industry knowledge, and solid track record as a top executive at DuPont will propel Crop Enhancement into this next phase of growth, something he already demonstrated during his tenure.”

“We are delighted to have Jean as our next CEO, and I am certain he will have high impact,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, chairman of the board of Crop Enhancement. “Thanks to Kevin’s effective leadership over the last 4.5 years, Crop Enhancement advanced from a seed-stage startup through Series A and B equity raises. Kevin recruited a world-class team and established Crop Enhancement as a valuable Silicon Valley company with an agronomically proven crop-protection product now in trials with multiple top-tier strategic partners. As Kevin begins his next challenge as a venture capital investor, we are grateful for his service as CEO and look forward to his continued contributions on the board.”

Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary sustainable biological products that, when sprayed using conventional farm equipment, beneficially protect plant surfaces—leaves, stems, and fruit—to significantly improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications.

The company’s first product, CropCoat®, offers growers a new sustainable solution with effective modes of action that has demonstrated yield protection and enhancement relative to synthetic chemistries in several global crops. CropCoat can also be applied in conjunction with agricultural inputs such as nutrients and other active ingredients.

About Crop Enhancement

We work at the intersection of materials science and biology to bring new and effective solutions to agriculture that help growers protect their crops and the environment, while meeting the global need for sustainably produced foods. Our investors include Spruce Capital Partners, 1955 Capital, Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, Bandgap Ventures, Davinia Investment Ltd, and Alexandria Ventures. For more information, visit crop-enhancement.com and follow @CropEnhancement on Twitter.

Crop Enhancement Raises $8M Series B to Help Growers Protect Crops with Safe Coatings 

Additional funding enables agtech innovator to capitalize on near-term opportunities to bring much-needed sustainable solutions to market; investors include Spruce Capital Partners/MLS, 1955 Capital, Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, Davinia Investment Ltd., and Alexandria Ventures

SAN JOSE, Calif.— Apr. 14, 2020: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products that protect or enhance crop yields, has raised an $8M Series B financing round led by Spruce Capital Partners/MLS. Joining Spruce are existing investors 1955 Capital (managed by Andrew Chung), Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, and new investors Davinia Investments Ltd. and Alexandria Ventures.

The funding will be used to support strategic partnership development with agrochemical companies and regional distributors, broaden field trial targets in high-value fruit and vegetable segments, and advance regulatory efforts in the United States, European Union, Brazil, and Central America.

“This latest financing reflects the successful de-risking of multiple aspects of our business: we’ve advanced our core technology, brought in top talent, addressed regulatory requirements, and cultivated several market-entry approaches,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “Helping growers protect or enhance crop yield is even more important during the current crisis. We are grateful for the support of our investor syndicate and look forward to welcoming other like-minded organizations and investors to join our mission.”

Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary sustainable bio-compatible chemistries that, when sprayed using conventional farm equipment, beneficially protect plant surfaces—leaves, stems, and fruit—to significantly improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications.

The company’s first product, CropCoat®, offers growers a new sustainable solution with effective modes of action that has demonstrated yield protection and enhancement relative to synthetic chemistries in several global crops. CropCoat can also be applied in conjunction with agricultural inputs such as nutrients and other active ingredients.

“Today’s consumers are increasingly aware of and concerned about how their food was grown and made. In response, the agriculture and food industries are investing in new approaches to improve production,” said Greg Young, managing director at Spruce Capital Partners. “That’s why we’re so excited about Crop Enhancement, whose technology provides growers with crop protection solutions that employ softer and safer chemistries.”

“A growing middle class coupled with economic advancement across Southeast Asia, Central America, and Africa, has ratcheted up pressure on growers globally to improve crop production output and sustainability,” said Andrew Chung, managing partner at 1955 Capital. “We’re pleased to be supporting Crop Enhancement as they pursue their mission to help growers around the world face this macrotrend.”

The Series B raise,  along with recent appointments of industry experts Jean Pougnier and Dr. Damian Hajduk to its leadership team, enables Crop Enhancement to focus more resources on its go-to-market initiatives and broaden its IP portfolio.

Crop Enhancement has achieved several important milestones in its field trial programs of the CropCoat product. Recent field trial highlights include:

About Crop Enhancement

We work at the intersection of materials science and biology to bring new and effective solutions to agriculture that help growers protect their crops and the environment, while meeting the global need for sustainably produced foods. Our investors include Spruce Capital Partners, 1955 Capital, Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, Bandgap Ventures, Davinia Investment Ltd, and Alexandria Ventures. For more information, visit crop-enhancement.com and follow @CropEnhancement on Twitter.

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

Crop Enhancement Expands Leadership Team with Chief Business and Technology Officers 

Jean Pougnier joins agtech innovator as chief business officer, Dr. Damian Hajduk
moves to chief technology officer; Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® product performs in field trials on coffee and almond crops

SAN JOSE, Calif.— Dec. 11, 2019: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products that protect or enhance crop yields, has appointed Jean Pougnier as chief business officer. Mr. Pougnier will lead the company’s efforts to identify strategic partners and establish relationships with go-to-market partners and influencers that will position the company for maximum commercial success. As part of the expansion of the leadership team, Damian A. Hajduk, Ph.D. is promoted to chief technology officer from his former role as VP of research and development.

“With our initial product, CropCoat, continuing to prove its effectiveness in field trials, it’s time to accelerate on two key fronts: strategic go-to-market partnerships and product development. These important executive appointments enable Crop Enhancement to accelerate our commercial initiatives while ensuring we broaden our technical capabilities to address additional market opportunities,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement.

Mr. Pougnier has held leadership positions in the crop protection industry for more than 25 years and brings a solid track record of business and marketing leadership that includes 35 years at DuPont. He was most recently VP of business development at AMVAC. Prior to that role, he was the global business development and strategic planning director for DuPont’s multi-billion-dollar crop protection business, and eventually facilitated integration of part of that business into FMC in 2017. His exceptional understanding of the marketplace helped propel the DuPont business to anticipate market trends and outperform the competition. He also led the negotiation for several highly innovative licensing agreements involving DuPont’s novel blockbuster active ingredients, with the outcome of creating significant incremental revenues and earnings for DuPont.

“To address increasing market demand for sustainably grown food, and heightened regulatory pressure on synthetic pesticides, growers and farmers need new technologies to complement their existing approaches,” said Jean Pougnier, chief business officer of Crop Enhancement. “I am looking forward to connecting with leaders in the agrochemical sector to discuss how Crop Enhancement can help expand growers’ portfolio of crop protection approaches.”

Rounding out Crop Enhancement’s leadership team, Dr. Hajduk has been appointed chief technology officer. He joined Crop Enhancement in April 2017 and has been responsible for steering the company’s product development, regulatory, field, and manufacturing efforts. In his new role as CTO, Dr. Hajduk will direct all technology-related aspects to maximize the potential of the company’s existing platform while identifying opportunities to expand the company’s IP portfolio and develop new applications for the platform.

Crop Enhancement hits trial program milestones

These appointments follow several key milestones achieved in the company’s trial programs with its CropCoat® product, which enables growers to protect high value fruit, vegetable, and tropical crops through physical modes of action (MOAs). Recent highlights include:

Crop Enhancement’s products target annual crop values in excess of $100 billion worldwide. To protect or enhance crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to precisely control their release, thereby reducing costs and improving yields.

About Crop Enhancement
We work at the intersection of materials science and biology to bring new and effective solutions to agriculture that help growers protect their crops and the environment, while meeting the global need for sustainably produced foods. Our investors include MLS Capital, 1955 Capital, Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, and Bandgap Ventures. For more information, follow @CropEnhancement on Twitter.

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

Cavallo Ventures Makes Strategic Investment in Crop Enhancement to Advance Sustainable Agriculture

 

The venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis–a recognized leader in the marketing and distribution of crop protection, precision agriculture technology, seed and nutritional products–aims to accelerate the application of sustainable crop protection technologies for high-value fruit and vegetable crops

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Jan 22, 2019: Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis, has invested in Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields. With its investment, Cavallo Ventures aims to accelerate the development of Crop Enhancement’s breakthrough crop protection technology in the United States — particularly for the production of high-value fruit and vegetable crops.

Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® technology targets major fruit and vegetable crops across North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, Europe, and West Africa. To boost crop yield, Crop Enhancement develops proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit and seeds) to improve plants’ resistance to pests and diseases while reducing the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications.

Crop Enhancement’s formulations can be applied with agricultural inputs such as nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling growers to reduce costs and increase crop yields. Beyond yield and profit increase, CropCoat improves grower wellbeing by supporting worker wellness and safety, as well as enabling growers to implement sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) techniques.

Wilbur-Ellis serves the needs of thousands of growers who are responding to the demands of food companies and consumers for sustainably produced foods by implementing IPM approaches that employ chemical as well as biological crop protection approaches for the production of high-value specialty crops. This investment reflects the efforts of Wilbur-Ellis and Crop Enhancement to address significant trends that are reshaping how the world produces food:

  1. A globally recognized need to carefully manage the use of crop protection inputs through stringent regulations that ban several classes of products known to harm the environment;
  2. Tighter restrictions on maximum residue levels (MRLs) on food products — in particular for imported products; and
  3. The powerful market force of hundreds of millions of consumers who demand sustainably produced foods.

“Growers around the world tell us that they want solutions that are good for their farms as well as the environment,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “In trials we’ve completed, our first product, CropCoat, is proving to be an effective and sustainable crop protection technology. As we expand our efforts to fruits and vegetables here in the U.S., we’re delighted to welcome Cavallo Ventures into the fold.”

“We’re glad to be able to back the Crop Enhancement team as they develop innovative solutions to long-standing challenges in production agriculture,” said Mike Wilbur, president and CEO of Cavallo Ventures. “Their unique approach addresses trends in the food and ag industry calling for products that are more sustainable and friendlier for growers, their farms and the global ecosystem.”

About Crop Enhancement
Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in San Jose, California. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly products to improve crop yields, reduce the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.

About the Wilbur-Ellis Companies
Founded in 1921, the Wilbur-Ellis companies are leading international marketers and distributors of agricultural products, animal feed and specialty chemicals and ingredients. By developing strong relationships, making strategic market investments and capitalizing on new opportunities, the Wilbur-Ellis companies have continued to grow the business with sales now over $3 billion. www.wilburellis.com

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

Cargill Boosts Cocoa Productivity and Quality Using Crop Enhancement’s Sustainable Crop Production Technology

 

Indonesian cocoa growers in Cargill’s extensive network are eager to expand their use of this effective, farmer-friendly solution that reduces the need for synthetic pesticides

 

SAN JOSE, Calif.—September 10, 2018: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, has successfully completed an initial field demonstration pilot with Cargill to validate the effectiveness of its sustainable technology for yield enhancement. The conclusion of this demonstration pilot is an important step for Cargill— one of the world’s largest cocoa processors — towards attaining its sustainability objectives defined in the Cargill Cocoa Promise, and confirms excitement by cocoa growers for an effective solution to their long-standing production challenges.

[dt_quote type=”pullquote” layout=”left” font_size=”big” animation=”none” size=”1″]“This effective solution helps Indonesian cocoa growers improve productivity of their farms as well as supports farmer livelihood, which is why our collaboration with Crop Enhancement is so important”[/dt_quote]The demonstration was conducted with leading cocoa growers in Cargill’s grower network in Sulawesi, Indonesia, a primary producing region in the largest Asian cocoa production geography (consisting of 1.5 million hectares) for this key ingredient of cocoa and chocolate. Over the course of two crop seasons, the pilot established that Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® technology enables growers to mitigate the use of synthetic chemical pesticides and reduce farm labor required for agrochemical spray applications – key economic and sustainability drivers for the cocoa industry.

Based on positive grower experiences and feedback during the trials, Crop Enhancement and Cargill are defining next steps to scale the engagement in order to introduce the use of CropCoat to its larger grower base in Indonesia.

The demo farmers with whom we worked reported that CropCoat improved the health of cocoa pods and transformed how they farm cocoa,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “CropCoat saved these growers both time and energy by requiring far fewer applications compared with conventional insecticide treatments. In addition to the potential for prosperity that this new approach offers, it meets grower and consumer desire for sustainable farming practices.”

“This effective solution helps Indonesian cocoa growers improve productivity of their farms as well as supports farmer livelihood, which is why our collaboration with Crop Enhancement is so important,” said Niels Boetje, managing director Asia Pacific, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “This successful demonstration builds on Cargill’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. At the same time, it will help us to secure a long-term supply of quality cocoa for our business.”

Beyond yield and profit increase, CropCoat delivers to growers the added benefits of requiring fewer spray applications, having a strong worker health and safety profile, and enabling sustainable integrated pest management (IPM).

Crop Enhancement’s products target major fruit and vegetable crops worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. To boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases while reducing the need for synthetic pesticides or pesticide applications. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs such as nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to reduce costs and increase crop yields.

About Cargill

Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries who work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial, and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit www.cargill.com and our News Center.

About Cargill in Indonesia

Cargill began doing business in Indonesia in 1974 by establishing a feed mill in Bogor, West Java. Today, Cargill is headquartered in Jakarta and has more than 20,000 employees. We have 60 locations with offices, manufacturing plants and facilities throughout the country and business activities comprise animal nutrition, cocoa, copra, processed food exporting, grain and oilseeds, palm oil, and sweeteners. For further information please visit www.cargill.co.id.

About the Cargill Cocoa Promise

The Cargill Cocoa Promise launched in 2012 to align efforts in origin countries. It is Cargill’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers and communities in a holistic way that will secure a thriving sector for generations to come. The origin countries include Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia.

About Crop Enhancement

Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in San Jose, California. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly products to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers.

 

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

 

Crop Enhancement Appoints Marcus Meadows-Smith as Independent Director

 

As Crop Enhancement prepares to launch its first crop protection product, Meadows-Smith to advise on value-creation strategies

 

SAN JOSE, Calif.—July 31, 2018: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products for enhancing crop yields, has appointed Marcus Meadows-Smith to its board of directors. As a proven, successful, and recognized executive of the agrochemical industry, Mr. Meadows-Smith will assist the management team with the development of business models and go-to-market strategies that position Crop Enhancement for success as it reaches a key inflection point: commercialization of its technology.

Mr. Meadows-Smith is currently CEO of BioConsortia Inc., a discoverer of microbial crop protection and enhancement products. Prior to that, he turned around the biopesticide business AgraQuest Inc. over a four-year timeframe, culminating in that company being acquired by Bayer CropScience for over $400 million. Following Bayer’s acquisition of AgraQuest, he became head of biologics for Bayer CropScience. Previously, Mr. Meadows-Smith had a 14-year career at Chemtura Corporation, assuming multiple managerial roles and ultimately becoming EVP for a $2 billion portfolio of businesses that included crop protection, consumer products, and plastics additives.

Crop Enhancement’s market momentum is growing as the company gears up to launch its first crop protection product, CropCoat®. Extremely successful field trials with cacao growers and food value chain partners demonstrated double-digit yield increases, confirming that Crop Enhancement’s unique approach gives growers a powerful new tool to address the demands of consumers who want sustainably produced foods.

The CropCoat product achieves this through several effective modes of action (MOAs) that growers can deploy for sustainable integrated pest management (IPM). Beyond yield and profit increase, CropCoat delivers to growers the added benefits of no regulated residue (no minimum residual levels, or MRLs), pest resistance management, fewer spray applications, and lower costs.

Field trials with coffee growers are also underway in Central and South America, and the program is being expanded to high-value specialty crops including fruits and vegetables in the United States.

“Crop Enhancement has achieved the two most telling milestones for the success of a startup in agriculture — indeed for any product or company in agriculture— by generating great field trials results, as well as excitement for product adoption by key partners and major players in the food value chain,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, board director of Crop Enhancement. “Crop Enhancement is well positioned to gain registrations, identify partners who can deliver rapid growth, and then collaborate with them to maximize crop yield.”

“I am delighted to welcome Marcus Meadows-Smith to our board of directors after he advised the company for the past year. Marcus brings a wealth of commercialization and value creation expertise to the team,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “We are now driving towards product registrations in different geographies, starting with Indonesia, and seeking distribution partners. Marcus’ extensive experience in this process will help us immeasurably.”

Crop Enhancement’s products target major fruit and vegetable crops worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. To boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases while decreasing the need for harmful pesticides. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs such as nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to reduce costs and increase crop yields.

About Crop Enhancement

Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in San Jose, California. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly chemistry to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize toxic pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.

 

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

 

Following Positive Agricultural Field Trials, Crop Enhancement Expands Go-To-Market Team

 

Rodrigo Bermudez to Spearhead Global Business Development, Nandang Holil to Lead Commercialization in Indonesia

 

SAN JOSE, Calif.—May 1, 2018: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemicals for enhancing crop yields, has strengthened its go-to-market team with the appointment of two experienced agricultural business development executives. Rodrigo Bermudez joins as vice president, global business development, and Nandang Holil joins as Indonesia country director. Crop Enhancement is gearing up for commercialization of its non-toxic crop protection technology, CropCoat®, following successful field trials with cacao growers in Indonesia. Field testing with coffee growers is also underway in Central and South America, and the program is being expanded to other high-value specialty crops including tree fruit, vegetables, and berries in the United States.

Mr. Bermudez brings to Crop Enhancement 25 years’ experience in agribusiness, including senior management and operations roles with Munger Farms (chief operations officer for blueberries), Harry & David (director of orchards), and Apio (director of procurement for fresh salads). Prior to returning to the US, Mr. Bermudez ran his own company in Mexico for a decade providing specialized business development and technical marketing services to globally recognized agriculture-related enterprises helping them to successfully penetrate the Latin American agribusiness markets involving production, post-harvest technologies, and new crop inputs.

“As a grower myself, catering to brands that have set high standards for quality and sustainability, I am eager to introduce growers and channel partners in key markets around the world to the CropCoat product,” said Rodrigo Bermudez, vice president of global business development for Crop Enhancement. “We can equip growers with a highly effective crop protection solution that boosts yields and makes the lives of field workers safer by eliminating toxic chemicals.”

Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat product is highly effective for boosting cacao yields

The company’s momentum in Indonesia is growing as successful results from its cacao field trials have shown double-digit yield improvements above today’s toxic pesticide regimen. Cacao, the purest form of chocolate and the highest source of antioxidants of all food, is among the top four crops produced in Indonesia, which is the third-largest producer of cacao worldwide.

Nandang Holil, who will spearhead Crop Enhancement’s go-to-market strategy and partnerships in Indonesia, brings to Crop Enhancement 35 years’ experience in the agrochemical industry in the ASEAN region, particularly in Indonesia. Mr. Holil recently completed a 17-year career at DuPont, culminating in his dual roles as business manager of DuPont Crop Protection Indonesia, and director of PT. DuPont Agricultural Products Indonesia. During this time, he simultaneously led CropLife Indonesia as its chairman for nine years, driving general industry and governmental efforts related to crop protection initiatives. Prior to DuPont, Mr. Holil held marketing, product development, regulatory, and agronomic roles in Indonesia at Rohm & Haas, ICI/Zeneca, and Uniroyal. He is an active member of the Indonesian Entomology Society.

“Crop Enhancement offers game-changing technology for growers in Indonesia that delivers life-changing benefits,” said Nandang Holil, Indonesia country director for Crop Enhancement. “Indonesian cacao growers are very excited about using CropCoat to boost crop yields. I’m eager to see this advanced technology adopted broadly so that growers here can better compete on the global stage for the attention of leading food manufacturers.”

Crop Enhancement has also significantly expanded its operations over the past 12 months, with the appointment of new technical team members, the formation of an expert advisory board, and the relocation of its HQ to Silicon Valley.

“We’re extremely encouraged by the results of our cacao trials, where we see an excellent product-market fit. This validation of Crop Enhancement’s technology has already resulted in field trials placed on other high-value crops in geographies across the globe,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “The expansion of our business team with the addition of Rodrigo and Nandang enables us to deepen existing relationships and forge new ones in North, Central, and South America, Asia, and Africa.”

Crop Enhancement’s products target crops worth over $100 billion annually across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. The company has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases while reducing the need for harmful pesticides. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, giving farmers the tools they need to reduce costs and increase yields.

Where to learn more about Crop Enhancement

 

About Crop Enhancement

Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in San Jose, California. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly chemistry to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize toxic pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.

 

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

 

Crop Enhancement Appoints VP R&D, Builds Go-To-Market Team as AgTech Materials Science Pioneer Expands Industry Focus

 

Dr. Damian Hajduk heads up R&D; Mark Russell and Eric Flora spearhead market- and field-development efforts; Marcus Meadows-Smith, Mark Phillipson, and Mary Shelman to advise on business strategy

CAMBRIDGE, MA.—June 27, 2017: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical formulations for agriculture applications, has appointed Damian A. Hajduk, Ph.D., VP of research and development. Dr. Hajduk will lead efforts to expand the range of applications for Crop Enhancement’s breakthrough technology that improves crop yields, eliminates or minimizes pesticide use, and enables precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. To accelerate commercialization of its technology, Crop Enhancement also has formed an advisory board and added key personnel to its team to connect with leading growers and partners in the agricultural community.

“We currently have several in-market trials underway and the results are extremely encouraging,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “These new appointments will enable us to broaden our range of applications and build instrumental relationships with a broad network of industry and business partners.”

Dr. Hajduk joins Crop Enhancement from eatsa (also known as Keenwawa), a company that develops and operates automated quick-service restaurants featuring high-protein grains such as quinoa, where he was VP of food science. Previously, Dr. Hajduk was the chief scientific officer of Landec, a manufacturer of seed treatments for agriculture, packaging technologies for the food industry, packaged vegetables and salads for retail and food service, and biopolymers for medical applications. Before that, Dr. Hajduk served in a number of scientific and leadership roles at Symyx Technologies, where he developed and applied technologies for high-throughput research to accelerate product discovery.

In addition to Dr. Hajduk, Crop Enhancement has appointed two experts from the agricultural industry to lead market- and field-development activities:

Crop Enhancement also announced the formation of a three-person advisory board to spearhead business strategy.

Crop Enhancement’s products target annual crop values in excess of $100 billion worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. To boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases, and decrease the need for harmful pesticides. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to precisely control their release, thereby reducing costs and increasing yield.

 

About Crop Enhancement

Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly chemistry to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.

 

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784

Crop Enhancement Secures $8.5M in Series B Funding to Help Farmers Sustainably Increase Crop Yield While Minimizing or Eliminating Pesticide Use

 

MLS Capital Fund II and 1955 Capital co-led the round, with Bandgap Ventures and initial investor Phoenix Venture Partners rounding out the syndicate

CAMBRIDGE, MA.—September 13, 2016: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable chemistry formulations for agriculture applications, has closed $8.5 million in a Series B financing. MLS Capital Fund II (co-managed by Spruce Capital Partners and Xeraya Capital) and 1955 Capital co-led the round, with additional financing from Bandgap Ventures. Original investor Phoenix Venture Partners also participated. As part of the transaction, Greg Young from Spruce Capital Partners and Andrew Chung from 1955 Capital joined Crop Enhancement’s board of directors.

The Series B funding from prominent AgTech investors represents expert validation of Crop Enhancement’s technology, and enables the company to accelerate development and commercialization of its sustainable agrochemical products that prevent crop loss due to biotic stress and deliver precise doses of agricultural active ingredients.

Today’s announcement was made at the Ag Innovation Showcase, where Crop Enhancement is among the companies selected to present from among more than 100 applicants.

Founded in 2011 by David Soane, Ph.D., a serial entrepreneur and inventor in the field of materials science and surface chemistry, Crop Enhancement is commercializing an innovative set of environmentally friendly chemistry formulations that enable growers around the world to sustainably increase crop yields.

Crop Enhancement’s products target annual crop values in excess of $60 billion worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. In order to boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for harmful pesticides. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied to agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling the farmer to precisely control their release, thereby reducing costs and increasing yield.

“This Series B funding is an important milestone for us: we are now well positioned to ramp up development and commercial efforts to capture sizable market opportunities,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “We are currently field-trialing our products globally, and actively seeking market-entry and distribution partners to introduce us to growers of high-value permanent crops.”

Greg Young, managing partner at Spruce Capital Partners, sees Crop Enhancement addressing a crucial need for precision farming in large international markets. “Crop Enhancement offers an innovative and eco-friendly approach to farming that has applications in many crops around the world — particularly in Southeast Asia. We are very pleased to provide the financial and technical lift to accelerate the commercialization of this important technology, which will help growers boost crop yields through sustainable farming.”

“Crop Enhancement is a great example of a company that can address two key challenges in the developing world: increasing food production and fostering the development of sustainable agricultural practices,” said Andrew Chung, founder and managing partner at 1955 Capital. “We’re eager to help introduce Crop Enhancement’s technologies to growers and key partners in Greater China.”

About 1955 Capital
1955 Capital was founded in the fall of 2015 by Andrew Chung to invest in companies in the Americas and Europe that can address the developing world’s most pressing challenges related to energy, healthcare, food, agriculture, education, and sustainable manufacturing. The firm recently completed a first close on $200 million in anchor commitments, the largest VC firm debut in Q1 2016. With over a decade of experience investing in these sectors at leading global firms like Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures, Chung has experience in identifying technologies with significant impact potential in China and other developing countries, and supporting entrepreneurs in the development of mutually productive partnerships. The firm is based in Los Altos, California. More information is available at www.1955.capital.

About Bandgap Ventures
Bandgap Ventures is an Austin-based venture capital firm focused on equity investments in early-stage companies developing hardware and physical science technologies. Bandgap specializes in funding of advanced materials and chemistries, energy technologies, advanced manufacturing, semiconductor and optical components and sensors, and system hardware. For more information, please visit www.bandgapventures.com.

About Phoenix Venture Partners
Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP) is a leading venture capital firm that invests in and partners with entrepreneurs to commercialize breakthrough materials science innovations. PVP’s team has a track record of founding, building and investing in successful materials science start-ups. The firm’s investment strategy is flexible and predicated on assisting entrepreneurs with customer and supply-chain partnerships, business development, as well as strategic and operational support. PVP collaborates with a select set of forward-looking global corporations on business development and innovation interests. PVP is based in Silicon Valley with satellite offices in Singapore and Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit www.phoenix-vp.com.

About Spruce Capital Partners
The principals and founders of Spruce Capital Partners, Dr. Ganesh Kishore, Dr. Roger Wyse, and Greg Young, are well known investors and thought leaders in the biogreentech sector. They bring a wealth of experience as investors, advisers, and domain experts in helping entrepreneurs build the next generation of successful biogreentech companies. They formed Spruce Capital Partners not only to manage venture funds, but also to develop new talent for the industry, provide thought leadership, and promote innovation in companies and countries. The principals have worked together for more than 10 years and have shepherded investments across multiple funds and multiple sectors. They are also active in advising, partnering, and shaping the life sciences industry globally and, especially in Malaysia and the United States. Spruce Capital Partners is a co-manager of the MLS Capital Fund II. Additional information is available at www.sprucecp.com.

About Crop Enhancement
Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly chemistry to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.

Media contact:Tim Cox, ZingPR, tim@zingpr.com, 650-369-7784