Phoenix Venture Partners and Soane Labs launch Crop Enhancement LLC  

Crop Enhancement to develop green formulation technologies for improving agricultural production

Sunnyvale, CA – March 19, 2012 – Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP), a leading venture capital firm focused on advanced materials innovation, and Soane Labs, a leading technology incubator for advanced materials technologies, announced today the formation of Crop Enhancement LLC. Crop Enhancement will develop novel anchoring and controlled-release formulations invented at Soane Labs for several classes of agricultural chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. The company’s formulation technologies are designed to provide anchoring and controlled release of chemical agents into target microenvironments, thereby enhancing efficacy and reducing leaching liabilities for growers. Concurrent with the founding of Crop Enhancement, PVP announced a first round investment in the company. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the technology through a number of strategic development partnerships.

“We are extremely happy to launch Crop Enhancement with PVP’s support,” said Dr. David Soane, Chairman of Soane Labs and Special Partner at PVP. “Soane Labs and PVP together create a powerful synergy for commercializing these technology platforms.”

“I am excited to work with Soane Labs in founding Crop Enhancement”, said Dr. Zach Jonasson, General Partner at PVP and co-founder of Crop Enhancement. “These are  important technologies for the growing global agricultural industry that will enable more efficient and environmentally friendly crop production.” In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Jonasson will join the company’s Board of Directors.

About Crop Enhancement

Crop Enhancement LLC was founded in 2011 by scientist and serial entrepreneur David Soane, Ph.D.  An early stage specialty materials company, Crop Enhancement is the latest in a long line of Dr. Soane’s successful ventures, including ACLARA BioSciences, Nano-Tex, and Innovative Construction and Building Materials. All of these ventures have demonstrated the successful application of polymer-based nanomaterials in everyday life, solving problems from stains on clothing to the durability of construction materials. Crop Enhancement, building on Dr. Soane’s other accomplishments, is developing an innovative set of formulation technologies designed to retain agrichemicals on plant surfaces or in root soil, while controllably releasing them into the target microenvironment.  Crop Enhancement formulations offer new approaches to environmentally responsible crop management, so that active ingredients stay where they belong: delivering prolonged benefits to soil and crop surfaces instead of being washed into the waterways. For more information, visit

About Phoenix Venture Partners

Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP) is a leading venture capital firm that invests in and partners with entrepreneurs to commercialize breakthrough materials science innovations. PVP’s team has a track record of founding, building and investing in successful materials science start-ups.  The firm’s investment strategy is flexible and predicated on assisting entrepreneurs with customer and supply chain partnerships, business development, as well as strategic and operational support. PVP collaborates with a select set of forward-looking global corporations on business development and innovation interests. PVP is based in Silicon Valley with satellite offices in Singapore and Cambridge, MA.


Media contacts:

Najia Saidi
Phoenix Venture Partners
Alex Meng
Crop Enhancement LLC