AgTech Gets in the Weeds

Nov 20, 2020

Bio-herbicide startup WeedOUT is off to battle aggravating weeds after notching a $4.2 million Series A round.

Founded in 2016, the Israeli-based team is stopping weeds in their tracks using a unique biological approach: sterilization.

How it works:

  1. Apply WeedOut while weeds are flowering and outcompete the naturally occurring weed pollen.
  2. WeedOUT fertilizes the ovules.
  3. The formation of aborted seeds positions the weed’s reproductive system against itself.

Game over. Sterility 101.

Add in the fact this is a green, non-toxic, bio-based solution, and investors see dollar signs. But results have to prove it.

WeedOUT’s first target: Palmer amaranth.

The aggressive and glyphosate-resistant weed has plenty going for it to have a target on its back:

→ Grows 2-3 inches per day
→ Produces up to a million seeds per plant
→ Packs huge genetic variation, creating resistance issues

It’s a tall task, but WeedOUT’s leadership is no B-team.

Enter, the Monsanto MasterClass: The co-founders are former Monsanto Israel science leaders and the new Board Chair is a former Monsanto M&A and growth platforms guy. These dudes know weeds.

Big picture: Killing weeds is big business. If WeedOut can tackle the weed resistance market, a big pay day is in their future.