A St Louis-area company will go public this fall in a deal that values the rising ag-tech firm at $1.35 billion. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the deal will position Benson Hill for rapid growth in the plant-based foods market. CEO Matt Crisp said the decision to issue shares in the startup will supply a, “tremendous amount of capital” to help fund continued growth. Benson Hill was founded in 2012 and works with artificial intelligence and data science to boost food nutrients and crop sustainability. Today the company has about 330 employees, 200 of them at their headquarters in Creve Coeur that opened last year. Crisp told the Post-Dispatch that Benson Hill anticipates commercializing multiple plant-based protein products in the next decade. Upon shareholder approval, the deal will result in Benson Hill issuing shares that will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange this fall.
Soybean groups welcomed Benson Hill’s announcement. In a statement, Missouri Soybeans CEO Gary Wheeler called the deal a step forward for innovation in the soy industry, and added that the organization was, “proud to partner with Benson Hill on building the future for food and plant science.”