Vestaron Corporation, a company that designs environmentally friendly insecticides, announced today a first close on the sale of its Series C Preferred Stock. This $10M round, which was led by new investor Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, a fund specializing in food and agricultural companies, also included major current investors including Southwest Michigan First Life Science Venture Fund, Open Prairie Ventures, Pangaea Ventures, Michigan Accelerator Fund, and others.
"I couldn't be more pleased to welcome Cultivian to the Vestaron team. Their expertise in the agricultural arena will be a great addition to our Board of Directors, and their experience in bringing agricultural products to market will be of tremendous help as we commercialize our first product, a biological insecticide," said John Sorenson, CEO of Vestaron. This product, a naturally occurring peptide, was approved by the EPA for commercial sale in February.
Ron Meeusen, Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox, said, "We've followed Vestaron for several years now and this is clearly the right time for Cultivian Sandbox to invest in the Company. They have made tremendous technical progress in the past two years, and the commercialization of their first product is exciting indeed."
Vestaron exploits the natural insecticidal properties of a class of peptides which have potent insect killing potential but which are safe to humans, birds, fish, and the environment, including honeybees. These peptides utilize new modes of action that have never been used in insect control, and therefore do not suffer from insect resistance. In addition to the bioinsecticide, the Company is putting the genes for the peptide into crop plants, and is modeling the active sites of the peptides to identify synthetic mimics that also have a favorable safety spectrum.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vestaron and Pangaea Ventures General Partner Keith Gillard commented that, "Cultivian Sandbox is a terrific fit for Vestaron and they've come along at the perfect time as we move from a research and development company to a commercial company. Their input into the commercialization process will provide tremendous value as we move the company to the next level."