Yield Lab Launches €21m Agtech Fund

04 Jun 2019 | 03.59 pm

Yield Lab Launches €21m Agtech Fund

EI and AIB backing the new fund for agrifood tech startups

04 Jun 2019 | 03.59 pm

A new European venture capital fund is looking to invest in early stage ventures developing agrifood technology. The €21m fund was launched by Galway-based Yield Lab Europe today.

Called the Yield Lab Europe Fund 1 LP, the agtech VC fund will include an accelerator fund that will put €100,000 into five companies each year, with a larger follow-on fund to lead rounds through to Series A for selected companies.

The fund’s €21m first close is backed by a €10m investment from Enterprise Ireland, €4m from AIB, and three private family offices.

The fund will invest in companies that improve the sustainability of food production and it plans to raise further capital over the next 12 months.

Yield Lab Europe ran its first investment programme in 2017 and has since invested in seven companies. They include Cork-based ApisProtect, whose technology helps commercial beekeepers protect the health of their honey bees.

Other startups in Yield Lab’s portfolio include Meath-based insect farm Hexafly, which uses black soldier flies to upcycle brewing waste into high value proteins, oils and natural fertilisers.

Paul Finnerty, chairman of Yield Lab Europe, said that the new fund gives the firm the financial firepower to be a leading player in early stage investment in European agtech.

“Never before has the need for innovative technologies to improve the sustainability and efficiency of how food is produced been so acutely needed. Agtech is the sharp end of agrifood industry innovation,” Finnerty added.

Alongside Paul Finnerty, Yield Lab Europe’s founding partners are Nicky Deasy and Brian Clevinger.

 

Photo: (l-r) Finlay McFadyen, AIB; Nicky Deasy, Minister Heather Humphreys; and Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland (Pic: Shane O’Neill) 

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