Pairwise announces closing of $90 million Series B funding round

Pairwise, a company that is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and cherries, announced the closing of its $90 million Series B funding round, signaling a new frontier in healthy, sustainable food innovation. Funding for the round was led by Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund (Pontifax AgTech), a pioneering growth capital investor in food and agriculture technology, and existing investor Deerfield Management Company (Deerfield), an investment firm dedicated to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. Also joining the Series B round are new investor Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, and existing investor Leaps by Bayer, which invests in paradigm-shifting advances in the life sciences sector, including agriculture and health.

Through the company’s unique use of CRISPR technology, Pairwise will help build a healthier world by introducing better fruits and vegetables with improved taste, enhanced convenience, increased shelf life, improved yield, simplified harvesting, or lengthened season availability.

As a leading mission-driven food tech company, Pairwise is using its cutting-edge technology to break down barriers to increase consumption of fresh produce. Today, only 10% of Americans eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, according to the CDC. To address challenges with inconsistent flavor, seeds, shelf life, year-round availability, and snackability, Pairwise will bring to the produce aisle new varieties of nutritious fruits and vegetables that consumers will love to eat, and will help to minimize waste. Pairwise believes the use of technology offers a transformative opportunity to open a new horizon for the $66 billion U.S. retail produce market, and is currently developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and cherries. Its first product is expected in 2022.

“People see innovation all around them, except in the produce aisle. We will give consumers new options that make healthy eating easier and more exciting,” said Pairwise CEO Tom Adams. “With this additional funding from industry-leading investors, Pairwise is taking a bold step toward achieving our mission of building a healthier world.”

Pairwise has built a unique crop trait development platform, based on gene editing technology licensed from leading research organizations, including Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Broad Institute). The company was founded by CEO Dr. Tom Adams and Chief Business Officer Dr. Haven Baker, with co-founders Dr. David Liu, of Harvard University, Dr. Feng Zhang, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. J. Keith Joung, of Massachusetts General Hospital.

In less than three years, the company has grown to 100 team members across two locations in Durham, North Carolina, with additional growth anticipated in 2021.

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