Vestaron Corporation, the March 2012 NEF Showcase Presenter, recently closed its $10M Series C Preferred Stock investment round. The Kalamazoo, MI, company has received USDA clearance for some of its products, has on-going field trials in Michigan (and elsewhere), and is planning for accelerated market growth next year.
The inspiration for Vestaron’s technology derives from spider venom. They discovered how to recreate the key molecules in the venom, technically known as 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.
The most recent round was led by new investor Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, a fund specializing in food and agricultural companies. Other major current investors including Southwest Michigan First Life Science Venture Fund, Open Prairie Ventures, Pangaea Ventures, Michigan Accelerator Fund, and others.
According to Dr. Robert Kennedy, Vesteron’s Chief Science Officer, “The NEF pitch coaching we received was invaluable. It got us into the form that that investors expect to hear, helped us anticipate pitfalls, and most importantly provided us feedback from an experienced audience in a low risk environment. It’s never too early or too late to benefit from NEF’s coaching.”