26 Jun 2019 | 08.50 am
Yield Lab Launches Agtech Fund
EI and AIB backing the new fund for agrifood tech startups
26 Jun 2019 | 08.50 am
Agtech accelerator Yield Lab Europe has opened for applications from startups for its 2019 programme. Yield Lab will support up to five companies with a cash investment of €75,000, as well as providing mentoring and training to help the businesses scale.
This is the third year of the European programme for the Yield Lab, which to date has invested in eight companies, four of which are based in Ireland.
Last month, Yield Lab announced it had raised €21m for a new European venture capital fund to invest in the agtech sector, backed by a €10m investment from Enterprise Ireland and €4m from AIB.
The fresh investment will support the newly launched accelerator fund, as well as a larger follow-on fund to lead Series A investment rounds in the accelerator companies as they grow. The fund intends to invest in 30 companies over the next five years.
Yield Lab has already committed to a follow-on investment in Cork-based startup ApisProtect, whose technology helps commercial beekeepers protect the health of their honey bees.
In November 2018, ApisProtect announced it had completed a €1.5m fundraiser supported by Yield Lab, Enterprise Ireland and other venture capital investors. The business was founded by Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy (pictured).
Yield Lab this week also announced the appointment of Roberto Vitón as a venture partner in Yield Lab Europe. Vitón is a former McKinsey consultant and founder of food and agricultural investment specialist Valoral Advisors.
Yield Lab Europe set up its headquarters in Ireland and launched its first programme cycle in 2017. It describes itself as an impact fund, focusing on investments that reduce the environmental footprint of food production and agriculture.
Nicky Deasy, managing partner of Yield Lab Europe, said that the fund is going from strength to strength. “Our formula of offering both our own equity capital, alongside mentoring and access to market and the wider venture capital industry, is in high demand from agtech start-ups across Europe, and we anticipate a lot of interest in this year’s programme,” he added.
Applications for this year’s programme are open until 31 July 2019 and can be made here.
(Pic credit: Claire Keogh)