Brightseed is using AI to discover natural functional medicines in common food crops.


Total Raised
$119.2 million
Latest Round
Series B


AgFunder, Fifty Years, Germin8, Horizons Ventures.


Brightseed is using AI to discover natural functional medicines in common food crops. Sofia Elizondo COO (Middle), is the former head of business development at Hampton Creek and ex-BCG with an MBA from Stanford. Jim Flatt CEO (Left) was the R&D head for Martek which sold to DSM for $1.1B and then went on to be CTO of Craig Venter's Synthetic Genomics, before becoming CTO at Hampton Creek. Lee Chae CTO (Right), developed Hampton Creek's AI platform for discovering functional ingredients in plants; he has a Berkeley PhD and did his postdoc at Stanford. The round was led by Horizons Ventures (Li Ka-shing's venture fund) and was oversubscribed.

Why We Invested

  • Top decile team with experience scaling food tech startups.
  • Large markets: Food Additives: $50b; Supplements $82b; Pharmaceuticals $1T.
  • Horizons Ventures is a strong lead investor in the food tech space and made a significantlead investment.
  • Lots of exit options: As an AI-meets-foodtech opportunity this could be a unique and coveted asset by ingredient companies like ADM or DSM, any of the major food companies, and certainly pharmecutical companies who see the opportunity in food as medicine.
  • Focus on GRAS compliant compounds provides speed to market and revenue.
  • Licensing the platform gives them a two-pronged approach to revenue generation and market acquisition.



Contact Brightseed

[email protected]




Jim Flatt

Jim was head of R&D at Martek which commercialized DHA Omega-3 from algae and which sold to DSM for $1.1 billion. He was then CTO at Craig Ventor’s Synthetic Genomics before joining Hampton Creek in 2015 as the head of R&D. Jim has a PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Wisconsin Madison, a Masters from Berkeley, and undergrad from MIT.

Lee Chae

Lee did his PhD in Computational Genomics at Berkeley before doing his postdoc at Stanford where he developed a machine learning platform to identify biochemical catalytic functions from protein sequences. He joined Hampton Creek in 2014 as the VP of R&D.

Sofia Elizondo

Sofia was a consultant at BCG focusing on pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. She did her MBA at Stanford before joining Hampton Creek in 2014 where she become VP of Corporate Strategy and Business Development.