Brightseed, a San Francisco, CA- and Raleigh, NC-based based biosciences company and creator of Forager®, a computational platform that illuminates the connections between nature and human health, raised $68m in Series B funding.
Temasek led the round, which also included existing and new investors.
The company plans on using the funds to further natural compound discovery and clinical validation as well to launch its first FDA GRAS ingredient from a Raleigh-based commercialization center.
Lee Chae PhD. co-founded. Brightseed is co-founded by Lee Chae, PhD.; Sofia Elizondo, and Jim Flatt, Ph.D. Brightseed provides Forager which systematically identifies natural actives and maps the connection to human benefits. This accelerated discovery of health-benefiting compounds has potential implications for food & agriculture, nutrition policy and nature-based drug design.
To date, Forager has mapped more than two million plant compounds – and dozens are in various stages of validation across multiple health territories, including metabolic health, digestive health, cognitive health, sugar management, maternal health and immunity.
Brightseed’s first discovery, two bioactive compounds identified in upcycled hemp hulls, will launch later this year as an FDA GRAS whole-food ingredient for gut health. To support the launch of the ingredient business, the company is opening a second location in the “Research Triangle Park” of Raleigh, North Carolina. Brightseed’s Science Center in South San Francisco will continue to be the home of its plant library, world-class technology stack, and compound discovery efforts – informed by metabolomics, bioinformatics, natural products chemistry, biomedicine, and translational and clinical research teams. To support its expanding life sciences footprint and to produce specialized ingredients, the company has partnered with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Partners include Danone SA, Ocean Spray, ofi (olam food ingredients) and Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made® vitamins.