Enko, Crop Health Company, Secures $70M in Series C Funding
We have seen just how fragile the global food supply chain can be when hit with a crisis. Crop security has since become a critical investment area. This is where crop protection startup Enko comes in.
Enko has recently secured $70 million in Series C funding for its platform that facilitates the discovery and development of alternatives to chemical crop protections. The investment round was led by Nufarm, an Australian agrochemicals company.
Enko addresses crop security issues with artificial intelligence to apply drug discovery and development approaches from pharma to plants. With this process, they are tackling the biggest threats to crops including pest resistance and ever-evolving diseases. As if this wasn’t a bold enough mission as it is, the company’s platform further strives to drive down R&D costs, allowing for the discovery of new products to be more cost-effective.
Their platform uses AI for a target-based discovery process which allows them to first rapidly identify and discover new compounds. This stage is driven by their deep understanding of plant, insect, and fungal biochemistry. Once the target is known, the company can quickly achieve potency and selectivity through the next stages of their structure-based design.
DNA Encoded Libraries (DEL) are incorporated into their platform, using state-of-the-art drug discovery approaches to screen 100’s of billions of compounds against each of their targets rapidly and cost effectively. This allows the company to have multiple unique starting points for their pipeline, increasing the chance at effective solutions. As they continue to grow, so do their datasets, furthering their expertise and capabilities.
The company led a Series B round led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2020 which raised $45 million. Between their rounds of funding and their R&D collaboration with Bayer to discover new chemistries for fighting weeds and with Nufarm to develop new herbicides, the company is on a sure path to improving the agriculture industry.
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