Australian agriculture will benefit from recent developments in the agricultural technology space says Finistere Ventures partner Spencer Maughan.AN AMERICAN-based venture capital business launching a push to raise $192 million ($US150 million) for investment in the agricultural technology (Agtech) sector is actively seeking Australian investment.
Finistere Ventures, based in California, has appointed Melbourne-based Somerset Capital to target Australian investors for its Finistere Ventures II fund.
Australia has traditionally been a tough ask for those trying to raise capital for agricultural projects, with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce calling on Aussie superannuation funds to raise their levels of investment in agriculture earlier this year.
However, partner at Finistere Ventures, Spencer Maughan, said the Agtech sector was on the verge of a boom and Australian investors were increasingly recognising the opportunities.
“In the past year there has been a significant shift in the prioritisation of Australian agriculture and innovation in general,” he said.
“We see a huge and growing opportunity for growth equity financing of Agtech companies and are actively seeking to identify Australian technologies and businesses that need both capital and the strategic, technical and operating expertise that we bring as partners and investors.”
“Australian institutional investors don’t want to miss out similarly to the dot南京夜网 boom and social media boom, especially since they can leverage their market sophistication given exposure to traditional farmland asset classes which they’ve built up over years,” Dr Maughan said.
The Finistere Ventures II fund will invest in companies developing new technology solutions in food productivity, sustainability and nutrition and has a global focus, using Finistere Ventures’ network of partners and research organisations in Australia and New Zealand, in addition to the US, Canada and Israel.
The company has strong links with Bayer, which is a strategic investor in the fund, which in turn has invested in plant science company ZeaKal, personalized nutrition app Shopwell and CropX, a cloud-based software application considered to be the world’s most advanced adaptive irrigation service.
Dr Maughan said the fund would link Australian agribusiness and agricultural research with global leaders in the Agtech sector.
“Australia has a very high standard of scientific research and innovation, but historically a gap has existed in the capital and expertise available to commercialise these ideas,”
Richard Dickmann, head of new business development at Bayer’s Crop Science division in Australia, said allowing innovators to access the global market with their new products was critical in today’s environment.
“Bayer’s investment in Finistere Ventures offers another option for Australian entrepreneurs to link their innovations to global markets,” he said.
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