Food tech-focused firm Finistere Ventures announced today the launch of its Finistere Aotearoa Fund done in partnership with New Zealand Growth Capital Partners. The $40 million NZD (~$28.1 million USD) fund will support early-stage companies developing technologies for agriculture, alternative protein, supply chain, and other areas of food tech.
Finistere is no stranger to food tech, having invested in the past in CropX, Memphis Meats, Plenty, and several other well-known innovators in the food world. The goal of the Aotearoa Fund, besides supporting more such innovation, is to invest in specifically New Zealand startups to get them the help they need to make an impact worldwide.
“While more than $46B has been invested in agrifood tech over the last decade – a trend likely to increase with the growing focus on sustainability – New Zealand hasn’t had the connected capital players necessary to help our companies take full advantage of this trend,” said Dean Tilyard, founder and director of Sprout who will now lead the new fund. “Our innovation cluster here is as good as anything in the Netherlands or Israel, but has been less well known. That is changing.”
Finistere, of course, already has offices in New Zealand. The new fund’s operations will be based in Palmerston North at R&D incubation center The Factory, which Finistere already has a longstanding relationship with. The fund will focus on a number of areas within food tech, including crop protection technologies, nutrient management, alternative proteins, food delivery, and supply chain advances.
The launch comes the same week another fund, PeakBridge FoodSparks, launched in Europe with a focus on early-stage agricultural and food tech startups in that region. Both funds underscore the recent growth of the food tech sector, which nabbed more than $4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Pitchbook data.
Finistere hasn’t yet said how many companies it is looking to invest in with the fund, but did note that over the next year, it plans to garner more investment from partners including Rabobank, RIV Capital, and Yamaha.