Unfold is 100 percent focused on the vertical farming industry. We combine leading seed genetics with the agronomic expertise to dramatically advance productivity, flavor and other consumer preferences.
We serve the vertical farming market through partnerships with vertical farming operators, technology providers and others across the produce supply chain.
Leaps by Bayer and Temasek have jointly formed Unfold to focus on innovating vegetable seeds with the goal of lifting the vertical farming space to the next level of quality, efficiency and sustainability.
Leaps by Bayer is built to drive fundamental breakthroughs in the fields of health and agriculture through new technologies. Leaps by Bayer is investing into solutions to some of today’s biggest challenges in health and agriculture.
Alongside Temasek, the investment for Unfold was co-led by Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG.
The three roles as an Investor, Institution and Steward, as defined in the Temasek Charter, shape Temasek’s ethos to do well, do right and do good. Temasek actively seeks sustainable solutions to address present and future challenges, as it captures investment and other opportunities that help to bring about a better, smarter and more sustainable world.
Temasek is an investment company with a net portfolio value of US$ 313 billion as at 31 March 2019.
Vice President of Plant Performance
Dan is a seasoned entrepreneur and has been working to bring high-capacity-indoor farming to market since 2008. In 2010, Dan began laying the groundwork of what would become Farmbox Greens, a Seattle based vertical-farm which specialized in growing specialty produce for retail and food service customers. In 2016, Farmbox was acquired by a regional produce company and Dan went on to scale Farmbox to serve customers in the Northwest and beyond. In his role at Unfold as the VP of Plant Performance Dan hopes to bring his operational knowledge and combine it with the opportunity in seed genetics to unlock the full potential of the vertical farming industry. Prior to his career in indoor agriculture Dan received his Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture, and worked for a variety of Design firms in Seattle.
Derek R. Drost
Vice President of Genetics
Derek is a leader in collaborative open innovation with a wealth of industry expertise in the fields of plant genetics, genome editing, molecular breeding, and trait commercialization. Prior to joining Unfold, Derek served as Innovation Manager for BASF, where he cultivated opportunities to accelerate BASF’s agricultural and biological research and development pipelines through external partnerships and university collaborations. Derek also worked for over eight years as a genetics and genomics research team leader for Monsanto in the vegetable seeds and row crop businesses, successfully bridging molecular genetics with plant breeding, and driving new commercial opportunities for key traits including disease resistance, fruit quality, and agronomics. Derek received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Agronomy & Horticulture and earned a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Florida.
John Purcell, Ph.D. has dedicated his life to helping farmers safely and sustainably grow food using less of the earth's natural resources. In his role as President and CEO of Unfold, John is continuing to improve the food ecosystem with more sustainable, fresher, and better-tasting fruits and vegetables, helping farm operators and retailers deliver on the immense promise of vertical farming. Prior to joining the food and agriculture industry, John was a post-doctoral researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Vice President of Product
Micki is a veteran technology operator and company builder. Micki's successes as a Silicon Valley operator include being an early product manager on the Netscape browser, first head of product at eBay, and Head of Product for 4 start-up companies including 2 exits. Micki combined her passion for the food system with her experience as a technologist to start the Sustainable Food Systems program at Orange and to become a venture investor in food and agriculture tech for the venture firms Social Capital and Radical Growth. She serves on the advisory boards of several early-stage start-ups focused on agtech. Micki hold a B.S. in Information & Decision Systems, visual communications minor from Carnegie Mellon University.