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Banks also named CEO-partner of Flagship Pioneering

January 10, 2024

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Indigo Ag, an innovative leader and trusted partner in sustainable agriculture, and Flagship Pioneering, a bioplatform innovation company announced this week that Dean Banks will join Indigo Ag as chief executive officer and CEO-partner of Flagship Pioneering, effective February 1, 2024. Banks will also continue as an Indigo board member, a role he has held since July 2022.

Indigo also announced the appointments of Nader Bekhouche (Investment Corporation of Dubai) and Noubar Afeyan (Flagship Pioneering) to its board of directors.

As a follow up to the company’s initial financing announcement in September 2023, Indigo also announced the final close of its financing round at an expanded raise of nearly $270 million.

Banks is the former President and CEO of Tyson Foods and a former member of the leadership team at X (an Alphabet company, formerly known as Google [X]), in addition to holding numerous leadership and entrepreneurial roles across the food, agriculture, technology and life sciences industries. He succeeds Ron Hovsepian, who has served as the company’s CEO since September 2020. During his tenure, Hovsepian was responsible for successfully producing the world’s first crop of registry-issued ag carbon credits at scale, expanding the company’s industry-leading biological seed treatments, and the ongoing development and deployment of second-generation digital merchandising solutions. 

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Ron for his leadership in taking Indigo to a new level of performance and growth and laying the foundation for its forward path in becoming the undisputed leader in the transformation to regenerative agriculture,” said Robert Berendes, Ph.D., chairman of the board of Indigo Ag and executive partner of Flagship Pioneering. “We are delighted Ron will continue to contribute to Indigo’s success as a board member and an advisor to the CEO.”

Berendes continued, “Dean has been a strategic and deeply engaged board member for Indigo, drawing on his extensive experience as an entrepreneur, technologist, innovator, and business executive. He is an energizing leader and visionary, and I am confident he will steward the company into this next critical phase of growth and profitability, and ultimately realize the full potential of the Indigo platform for companies, farmers, and the planet.”

Banks commented: “I’m thrilled to take on the role of CEO of Indigo Ag. Over the last year on the board, I have witnessed the tremendous investment we’ve made to build scientifically validated digital sustainability tools and biological products that farmers, agribusiness, our CPG partners, and our planet urgently need. Indigo’s solutions are delivering on their promise to help make our farmers more successful today, driving higher yields and new revenue streams while helping them nurture their soil for better tomorrows. The company is uniquely positioned as a trusted, independent partner impacting millions of acres today across the agricultural value chain. I look forward to working with the team to take the company to the next level as we scale its growth and impact.”

Company closes financing round

Indigo recently closed a financing round at nearly $270 million. As announced in September 2023, Indigo’s funding round included existing investors, led by Flagship Pioneering, and new investors, including the State of Michigan Retirement System, one of the largest pension funds in the U.S. and Lingotto Investment Management, a $3 billion innovation-focused fund owned by Exor N.V., one of Europe’s largest diversified holding companies.

“This latest funding round is a testament to the power of Indigo’s platform and positions the company for growth across all aspects of the business, from biologicals to digital to carbon,” said Berendes. 

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