Seed World

Sustainability-Focused Investment Partnership Selects Benson Hill as First Investment


Benson Hill has been chosen as the first investment of a three-year, $125 million co-investment partnership to advance climate solutions, formed by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and S2G Ventures (S2G).

Through the co-investment partnership, CDPQ, a global investment group, and S2G, a leading multi-stage investment firm, are investing behind innovative companies developing concrete sustainability and climate-friendly solutions in the food and agriculture sector. CDPQ and S2G participated in Benson Hill’s recently announced $150 million Series D funding round, which also included other strategic and environmental, social and governance (ESG) focused investors.

“Benson Hill’s mission, focused on improving the sustainability and efficiency of the global agriculture and food supply chain, is aligned with CDPQ’s conviction that performance and progress go hand in hand,” says Mario Therrien, head of Investment Funds and External Management at CDPQ. “As a company with deep technology expertise across the food and agriculture value chain, Benson Hill is well equipped to deliver more sustainable options to consumers while helping reduce the agri-food industry’s carbon footprint. We are delighted to support its growth while delivering returns for our clients.”

“This investment in Benson Hill reflects the core of our investment philosophy at S2G Ventures: companies that both do well and do good are best-positioned to deliver value today and be competitive in the future,” says Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer and managing director at S2G Ventures and member of the Benson Hill Board of Directors. “Benson Hill is an attractive investment not only because of its strong performance and continued growth trajectory, but also because of the way the company and its technology can address looming challenges and add value across the broader food and agriculture value chain, from farmers to end-consumers.”

Benson Hill’s CropOS technology platform combines food science, data science and plant biology to unlock the genomic potential of plants to improve the health of people and the planet. Significant progress can be made through change driven by intent, design and access from plant to plate.

“The food and agriculture system is under enormous pressure to evolve beyond the traditional commodity model to meet the demands of today’s consumers and boost resiliency in the face of climate change,” says Matt Crisp, Benson Hill Chief Executive Officer. “CDPQ and S2G recognize the urgency of accelerating the evolution of the current agri-food system through innovation, and the critical role of innovators such as Benson Hill to help ensure that food is better from the beginning, better for people, better for farmers and better for the planet. Benson Hill is proud to be a part of this initiative by CDPQ and S2G, and of our partnerships across the food and agriculture supply chain.”

The new investment, as part of Benson Hill’s broader Series D capital raise, will allow the company to continue advancing Cloud Biology and CropOS, enhance partner development efforts across the value chain and build out the supply chain for its novel food and feed ingredients to meet the growing demand for plant-based foods and premium animal feed markets. Benson Hill plans to commercialize a line of Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties this year and also plans to cultivate the same approach on sustainability-focused food and ingredient innovation in other high-growth market segments in the years to come.