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TechCrunch
Sep 4, 2022
IndieBio’s Puna Bio raises $3.7 million to enlist nature’s extremophiles in the effort to help crops survive and thrive
PunaBio microbes
PunaBio captures and cultivates “extremophile” microbes, like the ones pictured above, to restore agriculture. Source: PunaBio

IndieBio’s microbial agtech developer PunaBio (IndieBio SF12 2021) has secured $3.7 million in a seed round was led by Builders VC and At One Ventures, TechCrunch revealed in its article “Puna Bio’s extremophile microbe menagerie survives and revives depleted soil”. Other participants in the funding round include SOSV/IndieBio, SP Ventures, Air Capital, GLOCAL, and Grid Exponential

Puna Bio locates and cultivates beneficial microbes thriving in extreme environments (“extremophiles”) and introduces them to agriculture in milder climates where their plant-aiding processes work in overdrive. The result, TechCrunch noted, is higher crop yields, lower carbon emissions, and restored previously-depleted soil. 

“Our extremophiles are used to living with a low amount of nutrients; they have evolved, for around 2.5 billion years, to optimize nutrient uptakes such as nitrogen or phosphorus,” said PunaBio’s co-founder and CEO Franco Martínez Levis to TechCrunch. “For some properties, they show novel genes, or in other words, novel biosynthetic pathways. For others, the number of copies of the genes is higher compared to a non-extremophile microorganisms, which makes their activity more efficient.”