Agriculture & foodtech

Anuvia Plant Nutrients Lands $103M Series C To Scale Bio-Based Fertilizers

Illustration of fresh produce on smartphone screen.

Anuvia Plant Nutrients, an agricultural technology company developing a product to replace traditional fertilizer, secured $103 million in Series C funding.

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The company, headquartered in Winter Garden, Florida, was founded in 2005 and manufactures high-efficiency, sustainable bio-based fertilizers for the agriculture, turf and lawn care industries from recycled organic material, such as livestock waste, food waste, or other plant-based materials.

Amy Yoder, president and CEO, joined the company in 2015 from Arysta Life Science, where she had been CEO as well. At the time, Anuvia’s technology was in the laboratory phase, and today the company is in a scaleup and growth phase, she told Crunchbase News.

Anuvia’s nitrogen sulfur SymTRX product can be used on most crops and enables farmers options and blends — a plug-and-play option Yoder said — that is easily adopted and is proven to reduce up to 32 percent of greenhouse gasses. It is already in commercial use on U.S. farms with use expected to increase to 20 million acres by 2025.

“We launched our product in 2017 and were on more than 1 million acres by 2020,” she added. “We are in-season as we speak, but next year, we anticipate being on 3.5 million acres, so doubling our acreage.”

In addition, SymTRX maintains nutrients in the soil to eliminate run-off, as well as enables farmers to yield as much as five times more profit, Yoder said.

Sustainable future

Agricultural technology, commonly known as “agtech” or “agritech,” has exploded over the past five years. Since 2015, venture capitalists invested some $15.7 billion in global agtech startups, with investments peaking at $4 billion in both 2018 and 2019, and 2020 not far behind with $2.6 billion as of August, according to Crunchbase data.

Existing investors TPG ART and Pontifax AgTech co-led the round, with additional investment from Generate Capital and Piva Capital. The new funding gives Anuvia total funding in the amount of $242 million, according to Crunchbase data. That includes an initial Series C tranche of $60.2 million last September.

Ben Belldegrun, co-founder and managing partner at Pontifax AgTech, said via email that there is a movement to support technologies that are able to improve sustainability and sequester carbon in the soil by utilizing climate-friendly strategies.

“Consumer and regulatory pressures have been driving a move toward more sustainable crop inputs for some time, but we now see President Joe Biden’s climate change plan, Climate 21 Project, call for the establishment of a ‘carbon bank’ that would pay farmers, ranchers and foresters to store carbon using regenerative agriculture practices,” Belldegrun added. “This will fuel continued adoption of sustainable practices, and Anuvia is very well positioned to be an industry leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing crop yields.”

Adzmel Adznan, partner and operating manager at Piva Capital, said in an interview that he is impressed with what Yoder was able to achieve at Anuvia in a short period of time.

“She joined the company five years ago and turned around the company with her leadership, tenacity, network and influence,” Adznan said. “This is the kind of investment that makes us super excited to be able to continue to support the company.”

Next steps

Meanwhile, the new funding follows a September announcement of a commercial agreement between Anuvia and The Mosaic Co., a producer of phosphate and potash, to exclusively license SymTRX10S in the U.S. as Susterra by Mosaic.

Anuvia intends to use the financing toward its expanded Plant City, Florida, facility that Mosaic had used for fertilizer, Yoder said. The company started production in the new facility earlier this year.

Next up, the company is eyeing expansion opportunities in other countries and partnerships with other companies, as well as research and development.

“We will scale up production, our commercialization efforts and R&D,” added Yoder. “The funding came at the right time because we were at a crossroads of expansion, and having the funds to expand quicker made sense for us. We have a unique product and a unique delivery system, so we are looking at combining with other technology to see other benefits moving forward.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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