Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. is launching a business-to-business platform to sell its products to other companies that will use them to treat either soil or seeds in order to create custom products for farmers.
Davis-based Marrone (Nasdaq: MBII) makes biological controls to manage pathogens, mold and pests in agriculture as an alternative to chemicals.
In the past, the company has sold its products through distributors to farmers. With its new TerraConnect platform, Marrone will also sell directly to seed companies and other integrated pest management companies. Those companies will use Marrone’s products, perhaps in combination with other products, to create custom products for sale, said Alicia Gillman, spokeswoman with Marrone.
Pretreated seeds are a growing segment of the market, whether they are treated for growth, pest and mold protection, or all of it, Gillman said.
Some companies, which Gillman declined to name, are currently using Marrone products to pretreat seeds.
The TerraConnect platform creates a new market for Marrone, and it comes at a time when many existing chemicals used to protect seeds and crops are no longer available, Gillman said.
The use of a pesticide known as organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos was banned this year by action of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California.
A host of other chemicals used to control mold and pests are also targeted to come off the market in coming years to protect farm workers, consumers and beneficial insects, Gillman said.
Marrone, founded in 2006, has approved products on the market that act as insecticides and fungicides. It is in the process of getting approvals for a biological weed-control product. The company also sells a product to control invasive quagga mussels in water systems.
Marrone Bio’s revenue grew 85.4 percent over the three years ending in 2017, which was enough for it to be ranked 16th on the Business Journal’s list of fastest-growing companies this year. Marrone Bio had $18.2 million in revenue last year.
Through three quarters this year, Marrone had revenue of $15.2 million, up from $14.7 million at the same time the previous period.