St. Louis startup Benson Hill raises $60 million from Google-parent Alphabet

Agritech startup Benson Hill Biosystems has raised $60 million from investors led by GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc.

Matthew Crisp, Benson Hill’s chief executive, said in a statement that the funding “expanded our base of investors who recognize the power of plants and innovation to benefit both farmers and consumers.”

In addition to GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, new investors include Activant Capital of Greenwich, Conn., Collaborative Fund of New York and Tao Capital Partners of San Francisco. Several of Benson Hill’s previous investors, including Lewis & Clark Ventures of Clayton and iSelect Fund of St. Louis, also participated in the Series C capital round.

Benson Hill said the capital would be used to advance CropOS, its computational and genomic editing platform, and expand capacity to deliver improved crops.

Benson Hill combines machine learning with genome editing to accelerate crop development. The company also raised $25 million in venture capital last year.

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