Anterra Capital closes $250 million fund for biotech and digital tools in agtech


Agtech investment firm Anterra Capital has closed its second Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund with $260 million. The fund will invest in entrepreneurs developing biotech and digital solutions across the agribusiness value chain, from agricultural fintech and crop science to animal health and consumer technology.

Rabo Investments, Eight Roads Ventures and Tattarang led the fundraising, each having participated in the company’s first fund. Fund II has also seen a surge of new investors, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and tech entrepreneurs.

Background :

Anterra invests in startups and entrepreneurs working to improve the food system across the value chain through technology.

  • Its current portfolio includes, among others, genome engineering startup Caribou Biosciences, data analytics company Farmobile and ProducePay which provides loans and software services to producers of fresh produce.
  • The Amsterdam-based company also incubates companies in addition to focusing on investing in Series A, B, or C startups. Crop Protection Startup Enko Chem is an example of a company incubated by Anterra since its creation.
  • Collectively, Anterra’s portfolio companies have raised more than $1 billion in additional private funding since Anterra first invested there, according to the company.
  • The first Anterra fund aimed to help build a broader view of agtech and focus on areas such as fintech and biotech; Fund II focuses specifically on biotechnology and digital tools. “Our incubated companies are focused on deploying biotech and digital solutions that are established elsewhere, but are new to food and agriculture,” said Adam Anders, Managing Partner of Anterra, in a statement. .

Why is this important:

Anterra believes much of the momentum that has led to the adoption of biotech and digital solutions in agribusiness is due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ongoing global health crisis has both exposed inefficiencies in the food supply chain and changed consumer attitudes towards the use of biotechnology in food and agriculture, creating more opportunities for startups and investors.

  • For example, studies in the UK and EU have found that anti-biotech sentiment has faded among consumers and people have a “generally positive” view of genome-edited foods, although technology awareness is still low.
  • In another example, the Center for Food Integrity found that younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials are willing to embrace technology that can solve environmental and food safety issues.
  • Anterra says the deployment of mRNA vaccines has allowed people to see first-hand the benefits of biotechnology and has changed consumer opinion of the industry.
  • Agricultural biotechnology was the fastest growing agricultural technology category in 2020, the most recent year for data, according to APN parent company AgFunder.

What they say :

“We operate in an environment where the volume of deal flow has increased slightly but the quality has increased exponentially. We don’t need a new strategy for this next fund because we are very comfortableand sweet spot we’ve been sitting in for years now; there are still so many opportunities,” said Anders APN.

“We’re less interested in capital-intensive companies, so you’ll see an absence of companies building large facilities like factories or greenhouses. in our portfolio. We’re not saying they’re not good companies, but statistically thethere are places where it is more difficult to earn strong returns on venture capital,” he added.

“I testifyed the rise and fall of clean technologies, so in Anterra we have made the strategic decision not to expose ourselves to this additional risk; we are already in a relatively slow-sector in motion, still adapt to the arrival of capital risk.

And after:

Anterra said in a statement that the agri-biotech and digital startups it invests in or incubates are deploying solutions that are established elsewhere but have only recently entered the food and beverage sectors. Agriculture.

“It’s an advantage to operate in a sector that moves slowly: we can innovate in a slightly less risky way. I can say with confidence that we are unique in this approach,” said Anders.

He expects increased growth in key agtech sectors, such as technologies facilitating climate-smart agriculture and the management of natural assets.

“We hope that innovative new sources of income for farmers will help close the income gap as we enter a challenging macro-economic environment. Our sector is known as a safe haven in times of inflation and the need for change in our food system will play through any financial cycle.

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