SGB Inc., a San Diego-based agricultural biotechnology and seed company, closed an $11 million Series C financing round.
The company, which has been working on the production of sustainable plant oil, protein and biomass, also announced success in its program to create hybrid Jatropha that has both high yield and rapid time to maturity. The company plans to use the financing to drive its commercial rollout, according to SGB.
The $11 million financing is led by SGB’s current investors including Thomas McNerney & Partners, Finistere Ventures and Flint Hills Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.
The company said its board has appointed Arama Kukutai as executive chairman and Miguel Motta as president and chief operating officer. Kirk Haney has stepped down as CEO, but he remains a director of the company.
“The yield from our hybrids are stunning, and SGB’s investors clearly recognize the significant opportunity arising from having the first new proven crop for protein and oil since canola was developed in the 1970s,” said Kukutai, who is also managing director of Finistere Ventures. “Our scientific and breeding teams have cracked the code and the technology is now ready for full-scale commercial deployment of Jatropha. This financing underscores that Jatropha has risen from the ashes and will be a major plantation crop and viable alternative to palm and soybean as a sustainable source of oil and protein,” he said.
According to the SGB, its hybrids have been developed following six years of research and close to $40 million of investment.