Triangle agbio company Plant Response acquires Seattle startup

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by Jason Parker, WRAL TechWire

WISErg, a Seattle-area startup that is researching and commercializing a technology that enables the upcycling of nutrients from recovered food in fertilizer and other products that enhance plant and soil health, is the latest acquisition of Research Triangle-based Plant Response.

“Biologicals provide potential to help solve some of the biggest challenges faced in food production and the environment including improving soil health and better use of limited resources,” said Tom Snipes, the CEO of Plant Response  “The technology has amazing potential across crop types and regions, in addition to the footprint they already have on organic acres across the US and Mexico. We anticipate scaling its use on significantly more acres domestically and internationally.”

The technology, and its acceleration, will benefit plants, farmers, and the environment writ large, said Snipes. The company believes that with scale, high-quality sources of nutrients can be provided to plants while simultaneously increasing, substantially, the amount of carbon that could be sequestered.

Plant Response selected Research Triangle Park for its headquarters in 2017, shortly after the company tapped Snipes to lead the company, and temporarily operated out of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.  Prior to opening the U.S. headquarters, the company operated in Spain, and was a spin-off from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM).  The company maintains an office in Madrid, and also offices in Plant City, Fla., and Redmond, WA.

The acquisition of WISErg is the third acquisition for the company, which raised $1 million in debt and sought an additional $1.5 million in September 2020.

The company acquired Pathway BioLogic in January 2020, broadening the firm’s portfolio of products, just a few months after a November 2019 joint venture from the company and Koch Biological Solutions, a subsidiary of Koch Agronomic Services, which is owned by Koch Industries.

At the time of the joint venture, Koch Biological Solutions already maintained a minority position in Pathway BioLogic from a 2016 deal, and Plant Response was operating as Delta PRB, Inc., noting in an SEC filing it raised $76.9 million in November 2019.

Terms of the deal to acquire WISErg were not disclosed.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire