Booming Biofuels Market Triggers
Investment in Targeted Growth, Inc.
Infusion to accelerate deployment of increased-yield biofuel crops
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Targeted Growth, Inc. (TGI) today announced it has raised $22.3 million to help the company meet the increased demand for its patented technologies. These technologies have demonstrated increased yields in multiple crops. Specifically, the company is focused on those crops (corn, soy and canola) that produce the raw material (feedstock) used for the production of renewable fuels such as Ethanol and Biodiesel. TGI technology has been proven to increase yields by approximately 20 percent.
“They have now been able to harness the growth enhancing power of these genes in order to target it to commercially important parts of the plant. The enormous potential of this technology to increase agricultural yield is now being realized.”
“Many people support the development of alternative fuels from renewable sources such as plants,” said Tom Todaro, TGI’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our technology produces plants and seeds that are greater in both size and number. TGI technology will help meet the increasing national demand for biofuel crops in an efficient and sustainable manner.”
The oversubscribed round was led by Capricorn Management and AllianceBernstein L.P. Capricorn Management is the investment firm of Jeff Skoll, the first employee and first President of eBay. AllianceBernstein L.P. is one of the world’s largest publicly traded global asset management firms, which has significant investments in the farming and agri-business space. All current investors also participated.
"Double-digit yield enhancements are unprecedented in the recent history of agriculture,” said Ion Yadigaroglu, Managing Principal at Capricorn Management. “This is one of a handful of technologies that will allow biofuels to deliver on their promise to make an important contribution towards the global warming challenge."
Targeted Growth was founded in 1998 in Seattle. Its research focus has been on developing its proprietary and patented yield technology in the lab and testing it in large scale field trials. TGI has become a global leader in bioscience, forming strong commercial partnerships with leading agribusinesses, including to Monsanto (NYSE:MON), the world’s largest seed company.
“Targeted Growth began when our scientists discovered genes that control plant growth,” said Jim Roberts, Co-founder of TGI. “They have now been able to harness the growth enhancing power of these genes in order to target it to commercially important parts of the plant. The enormous potential of this technology to increase agricultural yield is now being realized.”
About Targeted Growth
Targeted Growth, Inc. was founded in 1999 with a goal of developing technologies that would increase the productivity of existing farmland and create new crops for use on land otherwise unsuitable for agriculture. Today, Targeted Growth is a global leader in bioscience, having developed technologies that both increase seed size and yield in major biofuel crops. The company has strategic partnerships with leading researchers and agribusinesses around the world. Targeted Growth is based in Seattle, Wash. with labs in Seattle, Saskatchewan, Ottawa and New Brunswick. More information is available at www.targetedgrowth.com.
About Capricorn Management
Capricorn is the investment arm of Jeff Skoll, who in 1996 became the first President and first fulltime employee of eBay. Mr. Skoll is also the founder of the Skoll Foundation, whose mission is to advance systematic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs; and founder and CEO of Participant Productions, which has garnered 12 Academy Award TM nominations for its films since 2005, including one for “An Inconvenient Truth” this year.
About AllianceBernstein L.P.
AllianceBernstein L.P. is a leading global investment management firm providing investment management services for many of the largest U.S. public and private employee benefit plans, foundations, public employee retirement funds, pension funds, endowments, banks, insurance companies and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. AllianceBernstein L.P. is also one of the largest mutual fund sponsors, with a diverse family of globally distributed mutual fund portfolios. Through its subsidiary, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC, AllianceBernstein L.P. provides in-depth research, portfolio strategy and trade execution to the institutional investment community.