Disclosure: AgFunder is AFN’s parent company.
AgFunder, one of the world’s most active investors in foodtech and agtech startups, has increased its assets under management to $160 million – 10x in two years – with the first close of its fourth fund.
Among the set of global LPs in the $60 million first close are Japan’s $1 trillion agriculture, fisheries, and forestry bank, The Norinchukin Bank; Alexandria Venture Investments, an affiliate of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, one of the US’s leading property investors; and European climate-focused family office Nest.
Fund IV is targeting $100 million in total. Its final close is expected in the first half of this year, driven by rapidly increasing investor demand for AgFunder’s platform approach to transforming the world’s food and agriculture industries with cutting-edge innovation.
Though it has happened against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, and more recently the war in Ukraine, we were still surprised about how quickly we closed these funds. Clearly, investors are increasingly recognizing the power of our global platform combining venture capital and media. But these geopolitical and socioeconomic crises have also emphasized the critical need to invest in the future of our global food and agriculture industry, creating urgency among institutional investors around the world.
“We are extremely honoured to partner up with AgFunder as they have proven over the past years that they are able to move the needle in agriculture and food innovation. They’ve been trailblazers in the space, supporting entrepreneurs long before this became a topic on many investors’ agendas,” said Anouk Schoors, investment manager at Nest.
“They’ve made the space more investable for all of us, learning what works and what doesn’t, as the dynamics are much more long term.”
Fund IV will primarily invest in seed and Series A-stage startups operating across the food and agriculture supply chain, with some flexibility to invest at later stages if opportunities arise. AgFunder is focused on impactful themes such as decarbonization, agricultural automation, and food as medicine.
AgFunder’s portfolio of more than 60 transformational agrifoodtech companies includes leading names such as “the John Deere of vertical farming,” Intelligent Growth Solutions; food-as-medicine discovery platforms Brightseed and Faeth Therapeutics; fast-growing marketplaces serving millions of farmers in emerging economies, DeHaat and Wefarm; animal-free leather producer MycoWorks; molecular coffee company Atomo; Latin American e-grocer Jüsto; and alt-protein providers Juicy Marbles, Nobell, and Black Sheep Foods, to name a few.
AgFunder’s earlier funds have achieved three exits to-date, including Bear Flag Robotics, which was acquired by John Deere; Root AI, which was acquired by AppHarvest; and Greenlight Biosciences, which listed on the Nasdaq via a SPAC merger at a $1.5 billion valuation.
Through its media platform AFN, AgFunder has over 90,000 subscribers from top companies in food, agriculture, technology, and finance. That community, along with AgFunder’s proprietary and machine learning-backed knowledge base of over 40,000 startups, enables the sourcing of deal flow, expertise, investors, and information for both us and our portfolio companies.
Here’s where AI could make the biggest impact in the agrifoodtech sector