Pivot Bio names Chris Abbott CEO; announces FY2023 results and expansion of U.S. operations

01 September 2023, Berkeley: Pivot Bio, Inc., a sustainable agriculture company delivering farmers patented crop nutrition technologies that harness the power of nature to reliably and productively grow the food the world needs, has named Chris Abbott as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, to build upon the company’s success to date. As previously announced, Pivot Bio co-founder and current CEO Karsten Temme will become Chief Innovation Officer.

Chris Abbott is an industry leader and hands-on strategist who has focused his career on agriculture, water, sustainability, and technology. He most recently helped launch and build Conti Ventures at Continental Grain Company, a global investor, owner, and operator of companies with more than 200 years of history across the food and agribusiness spectrum. Chris has also served as a board director for several agriculture tech companies, including Pivot Bio since 2018.

“Chris has the skills, ag expertise, and strategic vision to scale Pivot Bio into its next stage of growth as it delivers solutions that growers trust for their crops,” said Pivot Bio Board Chairperson Roger Underwood. “After conducting a thorough search, it was clear that Chris is perfectly suited to lead Pivot Bio moving forward. His commercial acumen, financial know-how, and strong relationships across the agriculture industry are exactly what the company needs at this critical juncture to further accelerate our substantial momentum and capitalize on the many opportunities ahead.”

“I’m excited to build upon the rock-solid foundation of breakthrough scientific discovery and novel products that Karsten and the Pivot Bio team have built,” said Chris Abbott, Pivot Bio CEO. “With Pivot Bio, growers achieve better profitability, predictability, safety, and sustainability. We help them realize strong yield results, greater ROI, and higher margins — that’s an unbeatable value proposition to continue capturing market share in the $190B nitrogen market.”

The company is also announcing another year of rapid growth, with revenue increasing over 60% in FY2023, surpassing $100 million for the first time. These strong results were enabled by 95%+ Net Revenue Retention (NRR) from its 2022 grower cohort and 190%+ NRR from its 2020 and 2021 cohorts. It was the fourth consecutive year of growth for revenue and acres, with Pivot Bio products becoming the synthetic nitrogen replacement of choice by U.S. farmers on over 5 million acres in FY2023 – an unprecedented rate of adoption for new crop nutrition technology. The company anticipates this momentum to continue in 2024, approaching double digit market share across U.S corn acreage.

As the company scales to create the world’s largest biological nitrogen footprint to meet continued strong demand, it anticipates delivering industry-shaping growth in 2024 through its independent sales representatives, one of the largest ag distribution networks in the U.S. To support continued growth and expand customer service for growers, Pivot Bio also revealed plans to increase manufacturing and distribution across the country:

  • A new 48,000-square-foot facility in St. Louis for the development, production, and manufacturing of Pivot Bio’s latest product and agriculture’s first-ever on-seed nitrogen technology, PROVEN® 40 OS and RETURN® OS.
  • A new 110,000-square-foot distribution center in Omaha, Nebraska, will enable the company to deliver climate-smart nitrogen to growers across the Corn Belt and Western U.S. faster and at scale.
  • A new state-of-the-art facility in the Iowa State University Research Park will open later this year to be a Midwest hub for technical expertise, product information, and personalized customer support, enabling farmers to maximize the benefits of Pivot Bio solutions.
  • The addition of a new packaging line at the company’s first distribution center in Chicago.

Pivot Bio will collaborate with 22 universities in 2023, reinforcing its commitment to independent research that advances its own product development and further instills confidence in growers. In 2022, the company collaborated with 15 research institutions on structured scientific trials that demonstrated how Pivot Bio’s breakthrough technology maintains or improves yield while delivering on the core product promise to help growers achieve better profitability, predictability, and sustainability.

“With our strong fiscal year 2023 results and expansion plans to meet farmers’ increasing demand, Pivot Bio is well-positioned for its next phase of growth under Chris’ leadership,” said Pivot Bio Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Karsten Temme. “I have worked alongside Chris for several years as we set our strategic direction with the Board, and he is the right person to further optimize the commercial opportunity of our patented products and fully realize our ambition to make agriculture more productive and sustainable.”

Synthetic fertilizer has, until now, been the primary way for farmers to grow the food the world needs, but it is one of agriculture’s leading contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and a significant driver of soil degradation, poor water quality, biodiversity loss, and air pollution. Synthetic nitrogen is unpredictable due to leaching and volatilization.

Growers need nitrogen that is reliable, predictable, and better for the environment without compromising on yield. Pivot Bio’s technology meets the demand for nitrogen consistency and dependability by enabling microbes to convert atmospheric nitrogen and reliably deliver it to the roots of crops, providing a source of nitrogen throughout the growing season with nearly 100% efficiency. In 2022, the company’s products helped customers avoid approximately 226,400 metric tons of COequivalent across over 3 million acres – like meeting the electricity needs of 44,000 U.S. homes for a year. More on the company’s sustainability can be found in its inaugural impact report.

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