RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK  — An agriculture biotech company based in Research Triangle Park has raised $65 million in a private equity offering, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AgBiome LLC raised the money from 17 investors.


The company said that other than the payment of salaries and other compensation and benefits, no officer, director, manager or promoter will receive any payments from the proceeds of this offering.

The investment group includes the University of Texas Investment Management Co., Fidelity Management and Research Co., Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Innotech Advisers, Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund, and Monsanto Growth Ventures.

“This is a watershed moment for AgBiome, and for agriculture. The support from UTIMCO, Fidelity, Polaris, Arch and other investors allows us to realize our vision to be the leading innovator in agriculture,” said CEO Scott Uknes in a statement.

Prior to founding AgBiome, Uknes served as the lead in the In and Out Licensing function for Bayer Cropscience Bioscience based in Monheim, Germany, and Ghent Belgium.

AgBiome discovers and develops biological and trait products for crop protection. Its Genesis discovery platform allows it to capture and screen the most diverse and unique microbial collection for agricultural applications.

It also develops and sells proprietary crop protection solutions.  The first of these, Howler, is a biological fungicide for disease control in a broad variety of specialty crops and the turf and ornamental markets.

The company said some of the money it raised would be used to build a market for Howler.

Private companies such as AgBiome relying on the Rule 506 exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but they must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism