The Galway based agricultural technology accelerator Yield Lab Europe has launched a new €21 million startup investment fund.
The €21 million fund will invest in early stage businesses in the agritech sector that have the potential to scale up internationally.
The Yield Lab Europe Fund 1 LP is backed by a further €10 million investment from Enterprise Ireland, along with €4 million from AIB, and three private family investors.
It is targeting startups with the potential to improve the sustainability of food production and help to reduce the contribution of the sector to climate change and environmental pollution.
The project will include an Accelerator Fund which invests €100,000 into five companies each year, and a larger follow-on fund to lead rounds through to Series A for selected companies.
“The launch of this new fund is a testament to our success to date and the potential of this sector,” Paul Finnerty, Chairman of Yield Lab Europe.
“It gives us the financial firepower to be a leading player in early stage investment in European AgTech.”
“Never before has the need for innovative technologies, to improve the sustainability and efficiency of how food is produced, been so acutely needed.”
“Large corporates globally depend on the start-up ecosystem to provide next generation solutions to critical problems facing the agriculture and food industries. AgTech is the sharp end of agrifood industry innovation.”
Yield Lab Europe has been running its Agritech Accelerator Programme out of Galway for the past two years, investing in seven companies that work in Big Data and Precision Agriculture (ApisProtect, Sencrop); Alternative Proteins (Hexafly); Animal Health and Aquaculture (MicroSymbiotiX); Soil Health (Microgen Biotech); Supply Chain Technologies (Impact Vision) and Crop Protection (Rootwave).
The company intends to raise further capital for this new investment fund over the next 12 months.
Kevin Sherry, Executive Director of Global Business Development at Enterprise Ireland said this fund will, “assist in providing the global ag sector with leading innovative, effective, scalable products and services.”
“This fund will increase the availability of that essential early stage growth capital and address equity funding availability within the area of agri-food technologies”.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said that venture capital is essential to helping high potential businesses get a start to their development.