Solis Agrosciences, created to provide R&D crop development services to Agtech companies, today announced that it closed on major growth capital financing led by Hermann Companies, Jim McKelvey, and BioGenerator Ventures. The funding will allow Solis to expand with additional talent and infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing customer base.
“Hermann has known the principals at Solis for years and jumped at the opportunity to help lead this financing,” said Robert Hermann, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Hermann Companies. “Solis’ business aligns perfectly with the Food & Ag strengths of St. Louis and Hermann.”
“We are thrilled to receive this investment,” said Mary Fernandes, President and Co-founder of Solis Agrosciences. “This funding and our early success validate Solis’ model of providing high-quality R&D services to power our clients’ product development. We are committed to making Agtech innovation faster, better, and more capital-efficient. This investment will allow us to expand our operations and better serve our clients in the US and globally. We are grateful to our clients for their trust and partnership.”
Solis was launched in May of 2022 as a collaboration between Ag executives Martha Schlicher and Mary Fernandes, biotech startup entrepreneurs David Smoller and Tom Cohen, and Charlie Bolten, Sr. Managing Director at company builder BioGenerator Ventures to fill a need for specialized agricultural biotech research. The company has gained strong traction, employing a growing team of experienced scientists and launching the world’s first Plant Pipeline as a ServiceTM.
“Solis began as a conversation with Charlie Bolten at BioGenerator Ventures about what opportunities and needs might be created by predicting where the Agtech space is headed,” said Solis Co-founder and Board Chair Martha Schlicher. “Consolidation of large agricultural companies has followed the path of Pharma – innovation critical to feed a growing world in a changing climate is now occurring off balance sheet. This means crucial technologies the world urgently needs will come from startups, and no place is better positioned than the 39 North Agtech cluster in St. Louis to provide the infrastructure needed for these to succeed. As a key provider of these capabilities, Solis is already having a strong positive impact on the ecosystem and its platform is attracting startups from around the world.”
“Solis’ Plant Pipeline as a Service is the best integrated resource imaginable for gene editing, plant transformation, plant analysis, and greenhouse operation. Working with Solis is like having our own in-house team to manage our pipeline. They are great partners dedicated to our success,” said Michael Lassner, Chief Scientific Officer of Amfora, Inc. an Agtech company focused on increasing the protein content of crops and a Solis client.
Solis plans to meet customer demand by continually launching new services, adding new crop species, acquiring new technologies, and building world-class infrastructure in an eco-friendly way.
“To ensure Solis can meet its growing customer demand, we needed to expand our greenhouse and field capabilities,” said Tom Cohen, who helped co-found Solis while a Director at BioGenerator Ventures. “A key use of this growth financing is to acquire Fahr Greenhouse, an operational, wholesale greenhouse facility in St. Louis County. We plan to modify the Fahr facility over time to address Solis’ customer needs while keeping its core floriculture business operational for current customers. This will ensure efficient and scalable growth for Solis.”
About Solis Agrosciences
Solis Agrosciences is a pioneering plant sciences company offering state-of-the-art technology & research services to Agtech innovators. We are located in St. Louis' 39North Innovation District. At Solis, our goal is to rapidly design, create and deliver new biotech plant traits in multiple crops using our proprietary Plant Pipeline as a Service™ (PPaaS) for gene-edited and transgenic plant generation & characterization. Our team of experienced scientists is here to support your research needs. To learn more, visit www.solisagrosciences.com. Follow us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/solis-agrosciences and on Twitter @SolisAgrosci.
BioGenerator, the startup arm of BioSTL, creates and grows innovative St. Louis companies through its two complementary approaches — investing through BioGenerator Ventures and comprehensive startup support through BioGenerator Labs. Visit www.biogeneratorventures.com for additional information, and follow us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/biogenerator and Twitter @BioGeneratorSTL.
About Hermann Companies
Founded in 1956, Hermann Companies combines three generations of experience to make investments across a spectrum of asset classes and industries. Hermann offer a variety of capital solutions to accomplish its goal of partnering with strong, entrepreneurial teams through meaningful direct investments. Visit www.hermcos.com to learn more.