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August 11th, 2020

AgTech Startup The Bee Corp Secures $1M in Funding

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis-based company that develops solutions for commercial bee pollination has received investments totaling $1 million from Elevate Ventures, THRIVE, IU Ventures, and other existing and new angel investors.

The Bee Corp.’s technology, Verifli, is an infrared analysis tool that allows growers to measure colony strength without opening the hive. Stronger hives produce better pollination, which results in higher crop yield. The agtech startup is one of few companies using technology to measure pollination performance in the $4.2 billion global market for hive grading.

The Bee Corp. was founded by CEO Ellie Symes following the 2014 creation of the Beekeeping Club at Indiana University. The company was incorporated in 2016 with two co-founders and currently has eight full-time employees and six interns. The company has booked more hives for 2021 pollination than all of 2020.

“We’re impressed with the growth and innovation we have seen from The Bee Corp. since we first added the company to the Elevate portfolio in 2017,” said Phil Lodato, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Elevate Ventures. “Ellie and her team continually demonstrate an ability to adapt and execute successfully. We look forward to what comes next.”

Symes said the funding is an example of why the company chose to remain in Indiana even though its customers are located on the West Coast. The funds from the latest round will allow The Bee Corp. to fuel sales and marketing growth.

The Bee Corp. previously received nearly $1 million in National Science Foundation grants. In March 2019, the company announced it was shifting its focus from preventing hive loss to determining hive strength.

“We’re proud to receive additional support from Elevate after changing our business model since they first invested in our company,” said Symes. “This investment tells us that our decision to pivot and the challenges involved were worth the effort.”

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