AgTech Accelerator, a unique startup accelerator vehicle focused on discovering and developing emerging agricultural technology companies, has announced the closing of an additional $8.5 million in financing, nearly doubling its capital since the initial launch in May 2016. The additional financing brings its total capital commitments to $20 million. Elanco, a leader in developing products and knowledge services to improve animal health and food production, led the round with participation from existing investors, including Bayer, Syngenta Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Hatteras Venture Partners, Mountain Group Capital and Pappas Capital.

Elanco is a global company that values innovation in scientific research and daily operations. Elanco understands the powerful role healthy animals play in making lives better. The demand for safe, affordable food for all is growing with the increasing global population. Further as pets increasingly become important parts of families, so too does the need to help them live longer, healthier and higher-quality lives.

“Today, more than 20 percent of livestock productivity is lost to death and disease globally. While we’ve made important advances in animal health, we still have significant unmet health needs that must be addressed if we’re to tackle today’s challenge—from improving global food security to combatting antimicrobial resistance,” said Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco and senior vice president of Eli Lilly and Company. “We look forward to joining AgTech Accelerator in working collaboratively across the agriculture technology continuum to bring new ideas to life. We believe this effort can make a difference in shaping a future with sustainable health outcomes for people, animals and the planet.”

Developing promising ag-focused technologies

Elanco represents an important addition to AgTech Accelerator’s strategic investor syndicate, which consists of the world’s foremost leaders across the agricultural technology continuum. Through its efficient operating platform and deeply experienced team, AgTech Accelerator provides all the necessary resources for the next generation of innovative startups to successfully develop the most promising agriculture-focused technologies addressing the world’s growing population, related food and water shortages and supply chain constraints.

“This is a really exciting time across all sectors of agriculture given the active consolidation of the large, traditional players,” said Kristina Burow, managing director at ARCH Venture Partners and member of the AgTech Accelerator board. “Talent pools are being unlocked and market forces are triggering the opportunity for unprecedented innovation and collaboration. The AgTech Accelerator plays a significant role in helping us take advantage of these new and really intriguing investment opportunities.”

Located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., AgTech Accelerator is positioned to develop companies embracing the shift toward collaboration and external innovation in agribusiness today. In addition to an experienced investor syndicate, AgTech Accelerator has convened key industry leaders for its scientific advisory board, a dedicated management team and leading academic research partners to provide its emerging companies with access to an unprecedented and dynamic team of collaborators with a broad and deep expertise.