Crop Protection Company Sound Agriculture Raises $22 Million

By Annie Baker ● May 22, 2020
  • Sound Agriculture recently announced it raised $22 million in Series C funding led by S2G Ventures

Sound Agriculture recently announced it raised $22 million in Series C funding led by S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth) — which is a Chicago-based venture fund focused on healthy and sustainable food innovation. And existing investors Cultivian Sandbox, Fall Line Capital, Cavallo Ventures, and Syngenta Ventures also joined the funding round.

In connection with the funding, Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director and CIO of S2G Ventures, also joined the Board of Directors along with new independent board member and Chair of the Board Cheryl Martin, Ph.D., Founder and Principal of Harwich Partners.

This round of funding will be used for accelerating the development of novel bio-inspired plant traits and chemistries as well as new business development efforts across food and agriculture.

Sound develops innovative crop solutions that unleash the natural power of plants to help growers produce crops with fewer resources, and give consumers access to better food.

And the company’s first commercial product called SOURCE was launched last year to unlock nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil, supporting plant and soil health, and on-farm efficiency.

By utilizing existing nutrients in the field, SOURCE provides an average corn yield increase of 8-10 bushels per acre without requiring more fertilizer. And additional products will support the efficient use of other natural resources, allowing growers to maintain profitability while improving the environment.

Along with grower-facing products, Sound Agriculture is addressing changing consumer preferences with its next-generation on-demand breeding platform — which rapidly evolves traits to improve the nutrition, taste, and sustainability of food without gene modification.

As the Chair of the Board, Martin’s expertise on market adoption of new technologies will help accelerate the launch of the company’s platform. She has served as a Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Acting Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and held the role of Executive in Residence with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

Before that, she was a General Manager at specialty chemicals manufacturer Rohm and Haas (acquired by Dow Chemical in 2008). And Martin earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Key Quotes:

“Developing a more diverse set of crop solutions is essential to the success of growers, consumers and the wellbeing of the planet. We are thrilled to have S2G Ventures and Cheryl Martin join the Sound team. They provide a wealth of experience, network, and resources as Sound expands its consumer side of the business that focuses on healthier, tastier and more differentiated food.”

– Sound Agriculture CEO Adam Litle

“Sound Agriculture is launching new discoveries that are in line with our goals for a healthier, more resilient and more sustainable food system. By combining our understanding of evolving consumer food preferences with their novel technology platform, we will be able to provide new answers to the challenges facing the entire food system.”

– Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director and CIO of S2G Ventures

“Embracing modern approaches to plant science is a critical step to ensure the well-being of our food system and planet. I have spent my career helping transformative new technologies flourish and I am excited to work closely with the team at Sound to advance innovation in a way that can benefit both people and the planet.”

– Cheryl Martin, Ph.D., Founder and Principal of Harwich Partners