The Andersons (NASDAQ: ANDE), a publicly traded diversified agribusiness with operations in crops, commodity trading, ethanol, fertilizer, crop insurance, and logistics has thrown its hat into the agtech game with the launch of Maumee Ventures, a new corporate venture arm investing $500k-$5M in early stage innovations that are aligned with the company’s core businesses. The Andersons was founded as a grain elevator company in 1947 by Harold Anderson in Maumee Ohio, and is currently helmed by CEO and grandson, Michael Anderson. The Andersons has a market cap of over $1.32 billion with revenues of $5.6 billion in 2013.
“Emerging technologies are impacting all industries, and agriculture is no different,” says Joe Needham, managing partner of Maumee Ventures. “As an early stage, series A/B investor we are seeking opportunities to invest in practical solutions primarily in agriculture such as plant nutrients, crop protection, grain supply chain, precision agriculture and renewable energy. Our goal is to leverage our unique capabilities to accelerate the growth of these innovations.”
In line with their core business, Maumee Ventures is specifically interested in plant nutrients and crop protection, grain supply chain, freight logistics, precision science, food safety and field tracking, and renewable energy. “Maumee Ventures is actively seeking out and examining start-ups where we have in-depth industry expertise and where we can add significant value beyond mere capital investment,” explains Needham.
Many corporate VCs write checks off their own balance sheet, and Maumee hasn’t reported any investments yet, and so it remains to be seen how active they’ll be.
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