By Monika Ghosh and Sharon Lewis This article is the last of a four-part Tech’s Year in Review series reviewing developments across industries in 2020. It discusses the world of healthtech and biotech, foodtech and agritech, and sustainability. This article is the last of a four-part [...]
Malaysian government’s Xeraya Capital also participated in GreenLight Biosciences’ fundraise
U.S.-based biotechnology company GreenLight Biosciences has raised $102 million in its Series D round fundraise from large Southeast Asian and American investors, the company announced in a statement.
The oversubscribed round was led by Hong Kong-based Morningside Ventures, owned by the Chan family, the real-estate family business behind property developer group Hang Lung, with participation from a host of new and existing investors.
Malaysian government-owned Xeraya Capital also participated in the fundraise via MLS Capital Fund II, a biogreentech fund co-managed by Spruce Capital Partners and Xeraya Capital.
Xeraya Capital had earlier invested in GB’s $17 million ‘special purpose funding round’ to grow production capacity for possible Covid-19 vaccines, including those based ribonucleic acid (RNA).
Other investors in the Series D round included S2G Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Continental Grain Company, Fall Line Capital, Tao Capital Partners, Baird Capital (who also participated in the $17 million round), Lewis and Clark Agrifood, and Lupa Systems, all of whom are based in the U.S.
“GreenLight Biosciences’ manufacturing technology can address critical pain points for RNA supply in both agriculture and human health,” Morningside Ventures Investment Advisor and Intellectual Property Counsel Jason Dinges said in the statement.
He added that RNA products are an avenue for innovation in human therapeutics and environment-friendly agriculture.
The fresh capital will be used to expand production of the company’s RNA products, which include new RNA-based therapies, to create sustainable solutions in health sciences and agriculture.[RNA is a biological macromolecule](https://www.rnasociety.org/what-is-rna#:~:text=Ribonucleic acid%2C or RNA is,DNA makes RNA makes protein”.) that helps synthesize the genetic information present in DNA into proteins. In some cases, RNA can carry viral genetic information and has been connected to human diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
The funding will also drive development and commercialization of the company’s sustainable agriculture products. GreenLight Biosciences is expecting to launch its first biopesticide in 2022.
“GreenLight was born from a passion to make our world more sustainable and more equitable,” GreenLight Biosciences Co-founder and CEO Andrey Zarur said in the statement. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide bio-based solutions for plant health, human health and animal health, and to make those solutions affordable and accessible.”
The company has been raised capital in a sequence of Series D tranches from 2017, when it first raised a $18 million Series D round in September 2017 led by Fall Line Capital, with five other participating investors including Lewis and Clark Ventures and S2G Ventures.
More recently, it also raised $50 million in a venture round led by S2G Ventures and Baird Capital in January 2019, with participation from five other investors including Tao Capital Partners and Continental Grain Company.
Overall, the 2008-founded company has raised a total corpus of $215 million in eight rounds since 2013.
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