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David Nicklaus is a business columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Zika virus

A mosquito from the genus Aedes, which can carry Zika virus. (Jeffrey Arguedas/EFE/Zuma Press/TNS)

Pluton Biosciences, a St. Louis startup working with beneficial soil microbes, has raised $98,000 on the Nvsted crowdfunding platform.

It's the second successful securities offering on Nvsted, which was launched last year by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. A year ago, Wellbeing Brewing raised $199,000.

Pluton set out to sell $75,000 worth of convertible notes and exceeded that by $23,000 when its offering closed last week. 

Pluton is working to identify and develop microbes with agricultural or environmental benefits. Its initial project involves microbes that can kill larvae of disease-causing mosquitoes.

The Nvsted platform has two other offerings pending. Centricrude Services, an oil-recovery firm, has so far raised 10 percent of its $250,000 goal and CAD Trailer Designs, a trailer manufacturer, is listed at just $500 of its $250,000 goal.