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NewLeaf Symbiotics Raises $7 Million in Series A Financing from RockPort Capital, Open Prairie Ventures and Pangaea Ventures

Date: 01/09/2013

Company: NewLeaf Symbiotics

St. Louis, MO – January 9, 2013. NewLeaf Symbiotics, Inc. today announced the completion of a $7.0 million round of financing. Investors in the syndicate include RockPort Capital, Open Prairie Ventures, Pangaea Ventures, and several individuals.

NewLeaf Symbiotics is an agricultural biotech firm that is commercializing a family of beneficial bacteria known as PPFMs (Pink Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs). PPFMs are ubiquitous in nature and have been shown to improve plant health, promote early growth, and increase crop yield. Tom Laurita, NewLeaf Symbiotics’ CEO, commented on the investment partners, “We have assembled a terrific syndicate that will definitely be helpful to the company as we move through the next stage of development.”

Kevin Kopczynski, Partner at RockPort Capital said, “We are extremely excited about the potential of NewLeaf and have partnered with a very strong and experienced management team to bring the benefits of this patented technology to market.”

Keith Gillard, General Partner at Pangaea Ventures commented, “Pangaea’s interest in agricultural biologicals as advanced materials has been strongly reinforced by all the recent excitement in biocontrols acquisitions.

NewLeaf, with its strong IP and world-class team, is perfectly positioned for a huge win in this space.”

Jason Wrone, Partner at Open Prairie Ventures, said, “With our dedicated focus on agriculture technologies we track many opportunities across this sector. We believe that the scientific advances reported by NewLeaf Symbiotics make this the most compelling opportunity in the burgeoning biocontrols market today.”

With this round of financing completed, NewLeaf is well positioned to further its field trials across a number of key market segments, advance product formulation efforts, and to expand its growing portfolio of intellectual property.

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About NewLeaf Symbiotics:

NewLeaf Symbiotics is a development stage company based in the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. Formerly known as TrophoMax LLC, NewLeaf is commercializing Pink Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs (PPFMs) for broad applications to the agriculture and horticulture industries. PPFMs are microorganisms that supply several essential nutrients that all plants need to grow. When PPFMs are applied to plants in a prescribed manner, the plants have been shown to grow faster and stronger, and to generate higher yields. Utilizing symbiotic microorganisms such as PPFMs to enhance plant growth and health can reduce the need for synthetic chemicals and other treatments, resulting in more profitable and sustainable farming.

About RockPort Capital:

RockPort Capital is a multi-stage venture capital firm that invests in the areas of alternative and traditional energy, mobility, and sustainability. For more than a decade RockPort has partnered with entrepreneurs to foster growth and create value in a broad range of industrial and consumer facing companies whose technologies and products provide innovative solutions to significant worldwide markets. RockPort has a collaborative approach to investing, deep domain expertise, and insights into all aspects of energy and cleantech. With offices in Boston and Menlo Park, RockPort is globally recognized as being among the largest and most established energy-focused venture capital firms.

About Open Prairie Ventures:

Open Prairie Ventures is one of the nation’s premier ag-tech early and growth stage venture capital firms. Its Midwest-based management team draws on generations of agribusiness experience to identify and support promising technology companies solving the world’s most challenging agricultural issues. Founded in 1999, Open Prairie has successfully harvested companies from start-up to IPO and leveraged its vast network of relationships with strategics to optimize returns for its investors. Current investments include Vestaron, a developer of proprietary, environmentally-conscious agriculture insecticide products based on polypeptides found in spider venom; and its most recent investment, NewLeaf Symbiotics, an agricultural biotech firm that is commercializing a family of beneficial bacteria shown to improve plant health, promote early growth, and increase crop yield.

About Pangaea Ventures:

Pangaea Ventures invests in early stage cleantech companies with compelling advanced material technologies. Established in 2001, Pangaea Ventures is now investing out of its third fund. Pangaea’s central investment thesis is that breakthroughs in advanced materials are critical for the continued growth of cleantech, and will be the primary drivers of value for venture-backed exits in the space. Pangaea and its portfolio companies benefit from the involvement of world-leading strategic Limited Partners across North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


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