Marrone Organic Innovations, Inc., Davis has announced the closing of a $10 million private round of financing led by Stuart Mill Venture Partners (Falls Church, Va.). Lawrence A. Hough, managing director of Stuart Mill and former president and CEO of Sallie Mae, will join MOI's Board of Directors. Co-investing with SMVP is Contrarian Group (Newport Beach). A second closing for an additional $1 million is anticipated for later this month.
MOI's existing investors were also significant participants in the Series B round, including One Earth Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Wavepoint Ventures and prominent local angel investors (including members of the Sierra and Sacramento Angels). Ranjeet Bhatia from Saffron Hill Ventures will also join the Board of Directors. Vice Chairman Rich Rominger will become Chairman.
The financing will enable MOI to fund the development and commercialization of its pipeline of more than six natural pest management products. While building the commercial side of the company, MOI will continue its discovery of natural products for controlling weeds, plant parasitic nematodes and insects.
"We are pleased that both our existing and new investors recognize the progress MOI has made in the discovery and development of new products since its incorporation a little more than two years ago. Larry Hough will bring invaluable operational experience to our board as we continue our progress to becoming the industry's innovation leader," says Dr. Pam Marrone, MOI's Founder and CEO.
Prior to forming Stuart Mill Capital in 1997, Mr. Hough worked with Sallie Mae for 25 years, where he served as president and CEO from 1990 to 1997. Under his leadership, Sallie Mae became the first government-sponsored enterprise to relinquish its federal charter in return for full independence.
Marrone Organic Innovations discovers, develops and markets environmentally responsible products that fill unmet needs for weed, plant disease and pest management. More is at (www.marroneorganicinnovations.com).