Pattern Ag Announces $15M Investment

Pattern Ag, Inc., a company offering growers biological analytics to unlock the next frontier in agriculture, today announced the close of a $15M funding round, led by Valor Capital Group and Ospraie Ag Science, with participation from Founders Fund and the International Finance Corporation. This is the first outside financing for PatternAg, which was incubated at The Production Board, a San Francisco based investment foundry focused on building breakthrough science-led businesses in agriculture, food, and life sciences. Pattern envisions a future where conventional agricultural inputs are enhanced by precision microbiome engineering, improving farm productivity and sustainability.

A first step toward realizing that vision, Pattern’s crop protection product delivers actionable intelligence to farmers, based on high resolution mapping of the DNA found in a farmer’s soil. With nearly 100 billion organisms per soil core, Pattern’s metagenomic DNA sequencing technology maps the unique microbial community found in a farmer’s field, identifying key opportunities to increase yield and save money. Armed with Pattern’s insights into next season’s risks, especially from the most costly pathogens like Corn Rootworm and Soybean Cyst Nematode, farmers can apply recommended protective measures to maximize their yield or save money on inputs when those risks are absent.

Pattern’s Midwestern field team has helped the company create a product that is laser focused on the practical needs of corn and soybean growers. In its first season in market, Pattern signed up a broad cross section of farmers in seven Midwestern states, collectively farming half a million corn and soybean acres. By helping them optimize inputs, Pattern is helping its customers increase profits up to $50 per acre. Growers are taking actions, based on Pattern predictions, and seeing material returns on investments made this season.

“My treated soybeans yielded higher, and I would have never made that investment had I not known what was living in my soil,” said Andy Houzenga, an Illinois farmer, about Pattern’s service.

“Leveraging recent advancements in DNA sequencing, Pattern represents a major opportunity in computational agriculture,” said Michael Nicklas, partner at Valor Capital Group. “Mapping the microbiome at scale will enable us to understand how soil ecosystems drive agronomic outcomes.”

“Pattern is taking the right approach to biological diagnostics: developing the technology around practical use cases that generate near-term wins for growers,” said Carl Casale, senior partner at Ospraie Ag Science. “As the technology expands, it will enable us to apply biological solutions with increasing precision and efficacy.”

Pattern will use the funds to scale its biological analytics offering to both US and international markets, such as Brazil, which is the largest producer of soybeans and third largest producer of corn worldwide. It will also continue to expand its product offering to help growers better manage soil health and nutrients within their operations.

“We are just scratching the surface of what we can do with our metagenomics technology platform,” said Rob Hranac, CEO of PatternAg, Inc. “Today, from each soil core we pull, we use only 1% of the genetic data we sequence to drive our core crop protection product. We look forward to unlocking the power of the other 99% for growers.”

“PatternAg’s breakthrough science-driven approach to significantly improving efficiency in agriculture through metagenomics and the application of discoveries in the soil microbiome is a great realization of our mission at The Production Board,” said The Production Board Founder and PatternAg Chairman Dave Friedberg. “TPB is dedicated to building enduring businesses with exceptional teams, providing them with the capital and strategic partnerships needed to scale. PatternAg is at an inflection point and we are thrilled to welcome our new capital partners to join us in helping the business scale.”