Biopesticides Attract Big Green

Apparently we’re not the only ones who see the potential of the emerging eco-pest control market. AgraQuest, a maker of environmentally-friendly pesticides (or biopesticides, as the company calls them) based in Davis, Calif., said it’s raised $20 million in a mezzanine round. The funds come from UK-based Loudwater Trust Ltd. and AgraQuest’s existing investors, among them TPG Ventures and Halcyon Capital.

AgraQuest plans to use the infusion to bring five new products to the U.S. market over the next two years — including an insecticide, a fumigant, and a biofungicide — as well as to stake a bigger claim overseas. As CEO Mike Miille said in a press release, “Global demand for biopesticides in general, and AgraQuest’s products specifically, is accelerating. As a result, the investment community is enthusiastic about our prospects.”

And for those of you who question whether killing bugs in an eco-sensitive manner is really worthy of such fanfare, the company points you to a recent report from BCC research that estimates the global biopesticide market will be worth $1 billion by 2010 — which, frighteningly enough, is a mere two years away. Just another sign that big agriculture is getting a global overhaul, and smart greentechers are seizing the moment.

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