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Agricultural biotech Invaio raises $89 million to improve crop health

The CEO of Invaio Sciences, Ignacio Martinez.Invaio Sciences

Invaio Sciences, a Cambridge biotechnology startup that wants to insert natural substances into trees and plants to reduce the need for pesticides in agriculture, said Tuesday that it has raised another $88.9 million in private financing. Investors have put up a total of $142 million since the firm was founded in 2018.

Invaio, which was created by the Cambridge venture capitalists at Flagship Pioneering — the same company that birthed Moderna 11 years ago — hopes to develop more targeted approaches to warding off insects and preventing diseases in vegetables and other plants.

“Our ambition is to build the most impactful and valuable crop health company on the planet,” said Ignacio Martinez, cofounder and chief executive of the firm. Invaio has about 75 employees, including some in Switzerland and Brazil.


On May 19, the firm announced that it will collaborate with Fundecitrus, a nonprofit private Brazilian citrus industry association, to evaluate use of a natural peptide to control a devastating disease known as citrus greening in that South American country.

Invaio said it will use money from the latest financing round to address the bacterial scourge and to explore potential solutions for Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium that has killed millions of olive trees in Italy and is threatening them in Greece and Spain.

Among the latest investors in Invaio are Stage 1 Ventures, Bluwave Capital, and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jonathan.saltzman@globe.com.