Dr. Rebecca White/Courtesy photo
PEBBLE LABS NEWS RELEASE
Pebble Labs, Inc., an ag biotech company creating biological solutions for protecting yields and quality in food production, announced the appointment of Dr. Rebecca White as its new CEO. Dr. White, who previously served as the CTO for Pebble Labs, will be leading the company through the development and commercialization process for its first products. Dr. White has spent her career building companies through the commercialization of cutting-edge microbial products.
Pebble Labs’ Directed Biotics™ technology harnesses naturally occurring microbes from crops to deliver the power of RNA-based protection to those crops, to sustainably protect crop yields and quality through solutions that target formidable pests and diseases. Directed Biotics™has applications in agriculture and aquaculture.
“I’m thrilled to take on this role. I believe strongly in Pebble Labs’ technology and know the hard work that is needed for adoption and commercialization,” said Dr. White. “Pest and diseases are a massive problem worth solving in food production. We have to minimize losses if we are going to meet the global goal of Zero Hunger. I’m proud to be leading a company that is tackling such an urgent and vital global challenge.
As long as humans have been farming, diseases and pests have been a problem – they directly impact the yield and quality of crops, sometimes with devastating impacts. Humans have a long history of trying to control diseases and pests and mitigating their impacts; however, losses to diseases, particularly viral diseases, and pests remain a significant challenge in agriculture and food production systems. Globally, it’s estimated that up to 40% of yields are lost every year. For example, the global produce market is valued at ~$1.5T at the grower level but suffers from $220B in losses to disease and $90B in losses to pests annually. These losses directly affect food security, farmer livelihoods, and national economies and inhibit progress towards Zero Hunger. New solutions are needed, and Pebble Labs believes biologicals are the new horizon in protecting food production systems.
David Morgan, the outgoing CEO of Pebble Labs, will be staying on as a strategic advisor. “Rebecca has a track record of building and scaling successful organizations. In her time at Pebble as CTO, she has played an instrumental role in helping us achieve our current progress. This is a great move for Pebble, and I’m excited to continue our work together in my new role as strategic advisor.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Pebble Labs’ win at the World Food Forum Startup Innovation Awards on October 1, where Dr. White represented the company. Out of approximately 5,000 applications to the competition, Pebble Labs was a finalist for and ultimately the winner of the Better Nutrition category. These awards are a partnership between the World Food Forum, a youth-led global collaboration for food security conceived by the Youth Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Extreme Tech Challenge, a nonprofit public benefit corporation whose mission is to empower startups creating new tech innovations to address global challenges. “We couldn’t be more proud of this recognition, and we are especially excited to have our work celebrated as a success on a global stage by such a prestigious group,” said White. “It is fantastic validation for our work and the progress we have made in the last 18 months.”
About Pebble Labs
Pebble Labs was established in 2017 to develop a novel, sustainable, and broadly applicable biological platform focused on plant and animal health for food production. Our platform technology delivers safe and effective biological solutions that sustainably address the most significant challenges for global food production. The key to our Directed Biotics™ technology is delivery: our microbes are precision engineered to safely and effectively provide RNA-based protection against the diseases and pests we are targeting.