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AgTech Startup Indigo Is Boston’s Newest Unicorn After $156M Series D

Boston-based Indigo announced Tuesday the first closing of $156 million in its Series D financing, doubling the company’s total capital raised to over $300 million.

Since the latest round now has Indigo valued at $1.4 billion, according to a company spokesperson, the agriculture startup is officially Boston’s unicorn No. 7 – meaning it’s joining the club of private companies having valuations of at least $1 billion. The latest company that cleared the bar was Desktop Metal, thanks to its $115 million Series D in July.

Indigo’s founder and first investor, Flagship Pioneering, and existing investor, the Alaska Permanent Fund, were joined in this round by new investors, including Baillie Gifford and Activant Capital. Alaska Permanent Fund led the company’s $100 million Series C round, which Indigo closed in July 2016.

Indigo said that the latest round made the company the top funded agtech startup, after its Series C established a record in the sector.

The new funds will be used to support Indigo’s commitment to building a new kind of agriculture company — focused on improving farmer profitability, environmental sustainability and consumer health, the company said in a press release.

The company is using machine learning to make farm crops more sustainable. After identifying beneficial microbes that naturally reside within plants, Indigo applies these to modern seeds to increase crop productivity and resilience in the face of stress.

In April, the company launched a platform designed to test and accelerate the adoption of new technologies in agriculture. Recently, Indigo opened its first international offices in Argentina and Australia.

“Together with growers across the globe, we have the potential to not only impact an industry, but to fulfill a larger vision of a world where nutritious food is transparently sourced and resources are conserved for future generations,” David Perry, president and CEO of Indigo, said in a statement. “Indigo’s offer to growers is key to our path forward because it focuses on their own profitability, the foundation on which this vision rests.”

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