AgTech Biologics Era Fund Raise

Somerville based AgTech startup Kula Bio, raised $5.75 M

Kula Bio, a developer of modern biofertilizer, raised $5.75 M in it’s latest funding round in August. Kula Bio champions sustainable, biological solutions for modern agriculture. It super-charges natural nitrogen-fixing microbes with renewable energy in order to deliver reliable, low-cost organic biofertilizers.

By rewiring the energy flow from sun to soil, it is tackling the wholesale replacement of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and eliminating the division between affordable practices, and better stewardship of our land, sea and air.

Kula-N, a generalist microbe by Kula Bio, colonises the soil rather than the plant itself. This focus on the soil enables the single product to work across a wide portfolio of crop types and cultivars, an ever growing list including: lettuce, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, cucumbers, brassica, and varieties of each.

The Kula Solution

To change how manufacturers produce ag-biologics, Kula Bio has focused on a proprietary bioreactor to grow robust microbial products at a lower cost. They have pared down the multi-million dollar biopharmaceutical facility model, enabling a decentralised, distributed manufacturing process more like brewing beer and farming algae.

Technology overview:

  1. Pick the right bacteria, taken from the soil itself. As a natural, wild-type microbe, it is already evolved to thrive within a diverse range of soils and climates.
  2. Fortifies microbes with Kula Carbon. Kula Carbon is an internal food source that makes them self-sufficient and able to thrive in any soil. Packed with their own source of energy and nutrients, they’re ready for the field.
  3. Once in the field, this Kula Carbon guarantees that the microbe immediately has its preferred C source, even in soils with depleted or inaccessible SOC pools, and in the face of steep microbe-microbe competition.
Traditional ApproachKula Bio Approach
Traditional microbial inoculants employ engineering techniques that adapt them away from their native soil environment. The result is crop-specific inoculants, grown at low cell densities through traditional bioreactors.Kula Bio has isolated wild-type, natural, non-GMO microbes and grown them to high cell densities while increasing the natural storage of Kula Carbon through proprietary bioreactors. This single product is compatible with a growing list of crops to replace bulk quantities of synthetic N.

By changing the way microbes are grown, they are able to produce living microbial fertilisers closer to the farm, easily scaling from centralised regional manufacturing plants to individual farmer operations. Farmers can use the associative BNF microbes with the same ubiquity that synthetic fertilizers can be applied to any crop, field, or season.