Food tech company Benson Hill announced today that it has received an investment from a recently launched sustainability-focused venture fund by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and S2G Ventures (S2G). The investment forms part of Benson Hill’s recently announced $150 million Series D funding round, which also included other strategic and ESG-focused investors.

Benson Hill aims to unlock the natural genetic diversity of plants with its cutting-edge food innovation engine to create healthier, great-tasting and sustainable food and ingredient options, through its CropOS technology platform, combining food science, data science and plant biology. The capital raise is aimed at enabling the company to advance its Cloud Biology and CropOS platforms, enhance partner development efforts across the value chain and build out the supply chain for its novel food and feed ingredients to meet the growing demand for plant-based foods and premium animal feed markets.  

Matt Crisp, Benson Hill Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The food and agriculture system is under enormous pressure to evolve beyond the traditional commodity model to meet the demands of today’s consumers and boost resiliency in the face of climate change. CDPQ and S2G recognize the urgency of accelerating the evolution of the current agri-food system through innovation, and the critical role of innovators such as Benson Hill to help ensure that food is better from the beginning – better for people, better for farmers and better for the planet. Benson Hill is proud to be a part of this initiative by CDPQ and S2G, and of our partnerships across the food and agriculture supply chain.”

The investment marks the first by the venture fund. The fund was launched in September 2020 by CDPQ and S2G, seeking to invest up to US$125 million over the next 3 years in ventures that aim to make the food and agriculture industry more sustainable and climate friendly.

Mario Therrien, Head of Investment Funds and External Management at CDPQ, said:

“Benson Hill’s mission, focused on improving the sustainability and efficiency of the global agriculture and food supply chain, is aligned with CDPQ’s conviction that performance and progress go hand in hand. As a company with deep technology expertise across the food and agriculture value chain, Benson Hill is well equipped to deliver more sustainable options to consumers while helping reduce the agri-food industry’s carbon footprint. We are delighted to support its growth while delivering returns for our clients.”

Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director at S2G Ventures and member of the Benson Hill Board of Directors, added:

“This investment in Benson Hill reflects the core of our investment philosophy at S2G Ventures: companies that both do well and do good are best-positioned to deliver value today and be competitive in the future. Benson Hill is an attractive investment not only because of its strong performance and continued growth trajectory, but also because of the way the company and its technology can address looming challenges and add value across the broader food and agriculture value chain, from farmers to end-consumers.”