Crop Enhancement expands development to protect new crops, relocates to California
Larta spoke with Kevin Chen, CEO of Crop Enhancement, to learn more about the obstacles that early stage ag tech companies must overcome in a space dominated by large corporations. Like other successful young ag tech companies, Crop Enhancement is addressing a large and complex problem. Farmers face a huge challenge resulting from record high levels of pest resistance to existing crop protection products, lack of adequate pest management tools, and rising labor costs in the face of labor shortages. To address these challenges, Crop Enhancement launched the development of a new type of crop protection system that improves crop yields and saves growers labor, time, and money.
Until presenting at Ag Showcase back in August 2016, Chen says that Crop Enhancement was in "stealth mode”. His team used the Showcase as a company “launch” event coinciding with their announcement of an $8.5M Series A round led by Spruce Capital and 1955 Capital, and an introduction to a new community of thinkers and doers. According to Chen, Showcase allowed Crop Enhancement to build lasting relationships that have transformed the way that the company approaches this industry.
In the last year Crop Enhancement has been field testing their 2nd generation CropCoat® product on different high value specialty crops both domestically and internationally. They've also relocated from Cambridge, MA, to San Jose, CA, where they have expanded their team and product development efforts aimed at different agronomically important pests, different geographies for product registration, and various high value fruit and vegetable crops.
As for what's next, Chen tells us that as an early stage company, though they've demonstrated their value, they will continue over the next few years to build that value and recognition of it across multiple markets. For a small company, that's a lot of territory to cover but Crop Enhancement’s nimble team is up to the challenge. Crop Enhancement is leveraging its reputation and relationships to build strategic partnerships, including several with top food brands.
👤 Kevin Chen
💼 Crop Enhancement
📍 Boston, Massachusetts