Friday October 5, 2018 0 comments
BOULDER -- Front Range Biosciences®, a leading agricultural biotech company specializing in tissue culture propagation of high-value crops, today announced it completed a $10 million Series A round of financing with participation from Phyto Partners, WelCan Capital, Salveo Capital, Cornerstone Opportunity Partners, Sand Hill Angels, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of New York, New York Angels, Altitude Investment Management, and other new and returning investors.
It marks the largest fundraising by a U.S. cannabis biotech company to date, Front Range said.
"This financing will help us accelerate our Clean Stock® program in Colorado, California, and Canada, in addition to aggressively pursuing IP development and resourcing our varietal development program for hemp and cannabis," said Dr. Jonathan Vaught, CEO and co-founder of FRB.
"As cannabis and hemp legalization spreads throughout the United States and internationally, there is an increase in demand for clean, quality crops -- this capital will also enable us to expand our capacity to meet a small portion of that demand.
“We appreciate the support from our early investors and are pleased to welcome new investors to the family as we execute on our mission to provide growers with a wide variety of disease-free and true-to-type plant stock."
"We are excited to participate in follow on funding for FRB," said Larry Schnurmacher, managing director of Phyto Partners. "The management team has been successfully executing on almost every KPI put forth in our initial due diligence and their business plan.
“FRB is experiencing incredible growth in a short amount of time and is poised to take an even bigger step forward as the cannabis supply chain continues to mature."
While traditional cultivation practices served the industry well in its infancy, they are unable to support the maturing cannabis industry and meet growing demand. Producers are looking to adopt scientific and modern agricultural practices that promote a robust supply chain.
FRB said its Clean Stock program leverages tissue culture, the sterile propagation of baby plants through duplication on a nutrient culture medium of known composition, to solve operational problems such as disease, inefficiency, inconsistency and scale.
"FRB has a proven track record of developing a unique platform to improve yield and quality within crops, particularly in the emerging hemp and marijuana space," said Michael Gruber, managing partner at Salveo Capital.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in and partner with an innovative and disruptive company that we believe has tremendous growth potential. We look forward to working collaboratively with the entire FRB team to help promote significant value creation in the business."
"We are impressed with FRB's ability to scale their business and solve a key problem in the industry. This latest round of funding demonstrates their capacity to attract capital from institutionally trained and sophisticated investors," said Vikas Desai, partner at WelCan Capital.
"FRB is a prime example of a cannabis company with a deep, experienced management team and a true institutional caliber operation, with many similarities to a traditional biotech company."
In addition to hemp and cannabis, FRB also provides Clean Stock for other high-value crops including coffee. In March, the company partnered with Frinj Coffee to supply Clean Stock coffee rooting cuttings to farmers across Central and Southern California.
In June, the company expanded its cannabis Clean Stock production into California through a partnership with Faith and Family Farms, a 100% family-owned cannabis cultivation facility located in the Salinas Valley. FRB is now taking orders for late 2018 production.