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Brief: Exit for CoverCress as Bayer buys majority stake in gene-edited cover crop startup

  • Pharma and biotech giant Bayer has increased its investment in low-carbon oilseed producer CoverCress to take a 65% majority stake.
  • The remaining 35% of CoverCress will remain with agribusiness Bunge and energy company Chevron U.S.A., according to a shareholders agreement signed by the two companies and Bayer.
  • The deal will enable CoverCress to further commercialize its namesake winter oilseed product into a cover crop that can provide lower carbon fuel feedstock to the renewable fuel industry while also bringing farmers another source of revenue during the growing season.

Why it matters:

The deal marks an exit for CoverCress’s founders and early investors, who include Fulcrum Global Capital, Prelude Ventures, St. Louis Arch Angels, REG Ventures — the subsidiary of US biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group (REG), and Prolog Ventures. It’s unclear what the valuation was — the company’s last Series B1 round closed on $8 million.

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