Xenia AgTech company expects $2M total in investment support

A Global Neighbor image of an early company commercial product -- a handheld direct energy tool, now called the Weederase. This handheld product is licensed to Viatek Consumer Products Group and being sold in online and catalog retailers.

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A Global Neighbor image of an early company commercial product -- a handheld direct energy tool, now called the Weederase. This handheld product is licensed to Viatek Consumer Products Group and being sold in online and catalog retailers.

Company wins $1.1M in initial round

A Xenia agricultural technology company focused on environmentally-friendly tech says it has secured $1.1 million in a recent investment round and is looking forward to nearly $1 million more in coming days.

A client of Dayton’s Entrepreneurs Center, Global Neighbor, Inc. (GNI), which focuses on directed energy methods to fight weeds for homeowners and farmers, recently announced the signing of a lead investor agreement with Innova Memphis, a Tennessee-based venture capital firm focused on high-growth companies in the bioscience, technology and the “AgTech” fields.

“Led by Innova Memphis and partner Dean Didato, the current investment round has already captured about $1.1 million in the initial closing and the firm expects to secure another investment in the next 90 days to satisfy the first equity financing of $2 million,” the companies said in a joint announcement.

“This is a significant accomplishment and I’m surprised at how quickly the first financing round came together. I’m very proud to be entering this elite phase of our funding journey that will accelerate rapid growth of our company in 2022,” said Joe Jackson, president and founder of Global Neighbor.

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Jon Jackson, president of Global Neighbor, with his NatureZap weed killer that uses a heating element to destroy the roots of undesirable plants such as dandelions, in a 2010 file photo.

Jon Jackson, president of Global Neighbor, with his NatureZap weed killer that uses a heating element to destroy the roots of undesirable plants such as dandelions, in a 2010 file photo.

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Jon Jackson, president of Global Neighbor, with his NatureZap weed killer that uses a heating element to destroy the roots of undesirable plants such as dandelions, in a 2010 file photo.

Global Neighbor has been around for a while. It got its start at a Central State University business incubator, with one of its early products being a thermogenic weed killer called “NatureZap.”

Unveiled in 2007, NatureZap used heat, not chemicals, to kill weeds. Users would poke the device — shaped like a futuristic walking cane — into weeds, apply the device’s heat element and eradicate the weeds.

“Global Neighbor has facilitated this financing in a relatively short period, which is impressive for the sector and the stage of the firm,” Didato said in a release.

Prior to this round, Global Neighbor has received some $3.8 million in grant funding over the last seven years, including Small Business Innovation Research grants from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In all, GNI claims seven issued utility patents and five pending patents.

Scott Koorndyk, president of the Entrepreneurs’ Center, said: “The completion of a first close is a milestone moment for any startup and we are excited to celebrate this win with GNI.”

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