Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

PowerPollen closes $13 Million Series B round

PowerPollen, an agtech company focused on improving agricultural productivity through improved pollination, has successfully closed a $13 million Series B funding round.

The Ankeny-based company will use the funding to accelerate global adoption of its pollination on-demand technology in corn seed production and expand innovation to corn grain, wheat, and rice.

The round will expand PowerPollen’s ability to help customers increase yield and enable product innovation across a wider diversity of hybrids by preserving and applying pollen on-demand. New investor Ag Ventures Alliance and several return investors, including Iowa Corn Growers Association, participated in the round.

“Ag tech innovation and adoption remain critical to helping farmers increase productivity and profitability in a sustainable way. For the first time in history, we have the potential to extend the lifespan of pollen at a commercial scale, and then apply it on-demand in three of the world’s most valuable crops. This innovation is key to unlocking yield and improving quality,” said Dr. Todd Krone, CEO of PowerPollen in an announcement.

Previous coverage

PowerPollen takes home $40,000 after winning 2018 Pappajohn Pitch Competition -Sept. 18, 2018

Powerpollen: An AgTech startup turning a problem into a solution -Jan. 22, 2018

PowerPollen closes $13 Million Series B round | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at mpatane@clayandmilk.com.
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now