RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Agtech startup AgBiome, which already has raised $100 million from several high-profile investors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has additional equity and a new chair.

Dr. Marijn Dekkers, former CEO at both Bayer AG and Thermo Fisher Scientific, took over as AgBiome chair as of Jan. 1, the company announced Tuesday.

Also, Novalis LifeSciences has made an investment in AgBiome. Dekkers is the founder and chair of the investment and advisory firm.

A spokesperson for AgBiome confirmed the Novalis investment after an inquiry from WRAL TechWire.

“With decades of exceptional leadership experience as a chief executive and in chairing boards of successful companies, alongside deep institutional knowledge across AgBiome’s business and strategic prospects, Dr. Dekkers is the ideal next Chairman of the Board to lead AgBiome to the next chapter of success,” said Eric Ward, co-CEO at AgBiome along with Scott Uknes.

“AgBiome is well positioned to execute on its strategic business model focused on our proprietary products, partner programs, joint ventures, and new company formations, all of which represent significant value opportunities for AgBiome in the near- and longer-term.”

Dekkers had already been working with AgBiome as a strategic advisor, a role he took on in 2020.

Novalis joins Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity, UTIMCO, Pontifax AgTech, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Innotech Advisors, Syngenta Ventures, and Leaps by Bayer as investors.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to chair the AgBiome Board and work alongside Scott Uknes and Eric Ward, whose leadership and vision as co-CEOs have positioned the company to achieve extraordinary success over time,” Dekkers said in the announcement. “AgBiome’s focus on developing naturally derived biological alternatives for traditional crop protection products is of high importance to the future of more sustainable farming and the environment. AgBiome’s industry-leading microbial discovery platform plays a key role in accomplishing this mission,” concluded Dr. Dekkers.