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US: $20M in funding for biocarbon product supplierAgriculture technology company Cool Planet has closed on $19.3 million in Series A financing and note conversion to commercialize its Cool Terra and Cool Fauna Engineered Biocarbon products. Cool Planet is focused on developing products that are simultaneously profitable as well as sustainable and has raised nearly $30 million in the last 18 months. This latest round of funding was led by AgustŪn Coppel and North Bridge Venture Partners.
The company's primary product, Cool Terra, can improve agricultural crop yields and grower ROI while providing substantial environmental benefit in the form of sequestering carbon and improving soil health. The company is also developing additional offerings including Cool Fauna, a product that has significant potential in animal health and nutrition applications.
Barry Rowan, Cool Planet's chief financial officer and a veteran of multiple startup and public companies, highlights this as a notable achievement particularly given the slowdown in ag tech investment. AgFunder recently reported that investment in the sector declined by 30 percent in 2016.
"The Coppel Family and North Bridge continue to show their confidence in Cool Planet. They've supported us through our research phase and remain valued partners as we continue commercialization of Cool Terra and development of Cool Fauna," said Rowan.
Cool Terra's Engineered Biocarbon platform helps to increase crop yields through improved soil health by providing a long-lasting environment to nurture beneficial microbes in the soil. The product, produced through a patented process, also helps the soil retain water and keep nutrients in the root zone for a longer period of time. More than 70 independent field trials conducted in 2016 demonstrated that Cool Terra works with a variety of crops, as well as turf and nursery plants in different types of soils. In addition to commercial sales of Cool Terra in 2017, Cool Planet is planning more than 100 additional third-party field trials.
Cool Planet President and CEO Jim Loar, an ag industry veteran who joined Cool Planet in late 2015, believes this latest funding round comes at the right time to successfully launch Cool Terra. The company has already partnered with Helena Chemical, J.R. Simplot, Triangle Chemical Company and AG RX to distribute Cool Terra to the production agriculture and turf, nursery and ornamental markets, as well as select distributors that are specific to the TN&O market.
"Our trials demonstrated that Cool Terra significantly improved yields for the fruit, vegetable, grass and legume crops, as well as turf and nursery plants," said Loar. "We've done the research, proven the effectiveness and built the partnerships. Cool Terra is poised to make a significant impact in the ag and TN&O sectors."
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Publication date: 4/3/2017
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