Boost Biomes, the Y Combinator-backed developer of microbiome-based bio-fungicides and bio-pesticides for agricultural applications, has added $2 million in funding and picked up a new strategic investor in Japan’s Universal Materials Incubator.
To date, Boost Biomes has raised more than $7 million in financing to support the development of new products like its bio-fungicide developed from the microorganisms that live in the soil in a symbiotic relationship with plants.
The work that Boost does is primarily on understanding the interactions between microbes and plants in the soil. “The goal is to be the discovery engine and develop new microbial products for use in food and agriculture,” said Boost chief executive and co-founder Jamie Bacher.
The commitment from Japan’s Universal Materials Incubator expands on a $5 million institutional round led by another strategic partner, Yara International, a global crop nutrition company, and venture investors like Viking Global Investors and Y Combinator.
Boost hopes to tackle issues in agriculture like spoilage, bacterial contamination and pathogen infestations, as well as addressing diseases that can affect plant health directly.
Boost is already working with an undisclosed biomanufacturing partner to develop its bio-fungicide.
“UMI’s decision to invest in Boost comes from our evaluation of their team, technology, and the associated market opportunities. We believe that Boost’s platform generates a unique data set that can be exploited for far superior products with many diverse microbiome applications in food and agriculture,” said Yota Hayama, an investor at UMI, in a statement. “These are critical areas to achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture. We also expect Boost’s huge potential on other areas where microbiomes are utilized.”