Scott-Bernstein-Kauffman Fellows

Hillman fund invests in $18 million startup deal

Lewis & Clark Ventures, the Clayton-based venture capital firm led by Tom Hillman, has invested in a Boston-area agtech startup GreenLight Biosciences.

The investment was part of an $18 million Series D funding for GreenLight. The investment was led by Fall Line Capital. a Silicon Valley venture firm that has invested in farmland and farm companies, including St. Louis-based Benson Hill Biosystems.

Other investors in the deal include S2G Ventures and Macro Capital Investments, as well as previous GreenLight investors such as Kodiak Venture Partners, MLSCF and Syngenta Ventures.

GreenLight has developed a portfolio of RNA-based products that can be employed to directly address a target pest while avoiding beneficial and benign organisms, with minimal impact to the environment.

The new investment will be used to accelerate development and field testing, according to a release from the company.

Hillman founded Lewis & Clark in January 2015 shortly after he sold his stake in Answers Corp. for an undisclosed amount. Answers was acquired by Apax Partners in a deal worth $900 million.

Brian Hopcraft, another former Answers executive, is Lewis & Clark’s managing director.

Lewis & Clark’s investment thesis targets high-growth potential companies operating in a large addressable market. The firm typically looks to exit its portfolio companies within seven years.