Global Neighbor secures $1M+ investment, anticipates nearly $1M more
January 7, 2022
On Wednesday, Dayton-based agtech startup Global Neighbor announced $1.1M in investment, with nearly $1M more expected in the next 90 days.
A growing innovation leader in developing clean, environmentally friendly Directed Energy (DE) solutions to combat weeds for both homeowners and farmers, global Neighbor announced the signing of a Lead Investor Agreement with Innova Memphis, a globally recognized early-stage venture capital firm focused on starting and funding high-growth companies in the bioscience, technology, and AgTech fields.
“This is a significant accomplishment and I’m surprised at how quickly the first financing round came together. I’m very proud to be entering this elite phase of our funding journey that will accelerate rapid growth of our company in 2022,” Global Neighbor founder and president Jon Jackson said.
Led by Innova Memphis and Partner Dean Didato, the current investment round has already captured more than $1.1M in the initial closing and the firm expects to secure another investment in the next 90 days to satisfy the first equity financing of $2M.
Innova Memphis has a track record of successful exits including AgriSync, Growers Holdings, Arkis Biosciences, and ExtraOrtho Inc., and the firm was recognized as #5 on the 2021 AgFunder AgriFoodTech Investment Report’s list of Most Active Venture Capital Fund Managers and the most active VC investor in the state of Tennessee in Tech Startups’ list of the Top Venture Capital Firms.
“Global Neighbor has facilitated this financing in a relatively short period, which is impressive for the sector and the stage of the firm,” Didato said. “Innova is confident that the enthusiasm around Global Neighbor’s weed eradicating products will generate broader interest from additional investors moving forward. We are proud to be a partner in promoting this truly innovative technology which will have a positive impact on future farming and the environment.”
The equity financing round of investors included Ag Ventures Alliance, a nationally recognized farmer-owned organization formed to make early-stage investments in technologies that enhance on-farm profitability, and Clean Energy Venture Group, an investment group providing seed capital and management expertise to early-stage clean energy companies.
Prior to this round, Global Neighbor has received approximately $3.8M in grant funding over the last seven years, including Small Business Innovation Research grants from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Phase I of the USDA’s SBIR grants are awarded to just 10% of the applicants, and in 2020, Global Neighbor was one of only three Ohio-based companies awarded the $100K grant. Invited to apply for a phase II grant in 2021, Global Neighbor was the only Ohio-based company selected to receive the $650K award, which is actively in use to develop and commercialize its Weed Seed Destroyer product.
Patented, environmentally-friendly weed control products use light instead of chemicals
Global Neighbor has successfully developed multiple products and continues to lead the way in environmentally friendly weed control with a collection of seven issued utility patents and five pending patents. Unlike chemical-based herbicides, Global Neighbor’s products utilize its clean, patented Directed Energy technologies.
“Directed Energy weed control kills weed seeds, seedlings, and unwanted plants using dual-wavelength, unnatural illumination sources applied at high intensity for short duration, eliminating the need for harmful herbicides,” Jackson said.
Currently, Global Neighbor offers Directed Energy weed control solutions for residential and agricultural applications, each having its own system solution and light blend to address its needs.
For homeowners wanting to safely control weeds in their lawns and gardens, there is the affordable handheld WeedErase. Licensed to Viatek Consumer Products Group, WeedErase is available for purchase online at Amazon and NatureZap.com, and at popular retailers like Sharper Image, Home Depot, and Walmart.
For farmers, the company is hard at work developing its Weed Seed Destroyer, which will attach to a combine harvester to destroy weed seeds at harvest.
“Every country’s greatest GDP product is ag in some way. Everyone has to eat,” Jon shared with the Launch Dayton community last year. “Killing weeds in ag so the farming community doesn’t have to use chemicals, we think is just the most stunning & exciting application we could come up with.”
Global Neighbor is a client of Launch Dayton partner Entrepreneurs’ Center.
“The completion of a first close is a milestone moment for any startup and we are excited to celebrate this win with Global Neighbor,” EC President Scott Koorndyk said. “It has been a privilege for the EC to guide them through the process. It’s a victory for the planet and farmers as they will benefit greatly from the future commercialization of innovative and eco-friendly Global Neighbor products currently in development.”
Global Neighbor, based in Xenia, counts some of the nation’s leading grain and produce farmers across the Midwest as advisory members. They provide access to field test sites and valuable input that gives Global Neighbor a deeper understanding of farming and how to make the process more efficient and profitable while addressing and mitigating the environmental concerns.