FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2015
AVAC Ltd. and Bayer CropScience are founding partners in
Finistere Ventures latest Ag Tech Fund
Calgary, AB – AVAC Ltd. is pleased to announce the first closing of the Finistere Ventures FVII Fund, a new $150M Ag Tech Fund. AVAC is a founding partner in the FVII Fund alongside Bayer CropScience and another global strategic partner. The Fund’s mandate is to identify and invest in world-class technologies across early to growth stage companies in the agriculture technology (Ag Tech) space.
Verdex Capital, AVAC’s Ag Tech arm, will oversee the Canadian arm of the Fund in partnership with Finistere Ventures. Finistere Ventures is a California-based venture investor and one of the pioneers in the rapidly growing Ag Tech sector.
“Canada has a proven track record of pioneering new technologies in crops and food,” said Dr. Michael Raymont, Chief Executive Officer at AVAC Ltd. “We have partnered with Finistere to generate excellent financial returns. We believe there are huge opportunities in Canada such as leveraging the major R&D investments being made in our universities and institutions, some of which will require connections to the talent and ecosystems in the U.S. to flourish. We can now make that happen.”
“The ever increasing demand for food, fiber and materials, coupled with decreasing agricultural land resources, the impact of climate change, and changing population demographics are among the key factors driving the need for new technology solutions in food productivity, sustainability and nutrition,” said Finistere Ventures co-founder and Partner, Arama Kukutai. “Canada is an underserved market for the financing of Ag Tech innovation. We are excited by the wave of promising technologies and companies in this sector that need both capital and the strategic, technical, and operating expertise we can bring as partners and investors. The timing is ideal for a new Fund.”
While the Fund is primarily focused on North American opportunities for investment, it will invest in companies from ‘global centers of excellence’ in Ag Tech. A key feature of Finistere’s Ag Tech expertise is their international network of partners that include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Israel, all recognized for their significant pipelines of Ag Tech related R&D, and as major agricultural producers in their own right.
By investing in sustainable productivity, Bayer CropScience aims to advance global food security. “The world faces difficult challenges to its food security with 10B people to feed by 2050,” said Dr. Adrian Percy, Chief Technology Officer of Bayer CropScience.
“The timing for the launch of the Finistere FVII Fund could not be better, given the current state of innovation and growth in the agriculture industry in Canada, with more and more excellent technology emerging,” commented Dr. Rob Rennie, Chairman for AVAC Ltd. “We are excited to have our Verdex Capital brand managing the Canadian arm of the Fund as part of our partnership with Finistere Ventures.”
Notes to Editors:
About AVAC Ltd
AVAC Ltd is an investment company with over 16 years of experience in financing early-stage innovative business opportunities and providing both capital and other value-added services to grow commercial business successes. AVAC invests in promising early-stage commercial ventures in value-added agri-business, information and communications technologies, life sciences, and other industrial technology sectors. AVAC also manages an active early-stage venture capital fund-of-funds investment pool and the Accelerate Fund, an angel co-investment fund. Find out more: www.avacltd.com & www.acceleratefund.ca
About Finistere Ventures
Finistere Ventures, a leading California-based agricultural technology and life sciences venture capital investor, and their team has developed and invested in some of the most successful Ag Tech companies of the last 20 years. Founded in 2005, the company partners with other entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to build innovative companies that have the potential to transform modern agriculture, increase food security, improve nutrition and enhance sustainability. Their applied experience as operators, and pioneering role in Ag Tech, is actively utilized to benefit its portfolio companies and Partners. Finistere has global access to the best new technologies from centers of Ag Tech excellence in the U.S., Australia, Israel, New Zealand and Canada through its venture partner networks. Finistere’s locations in San Diego and Palo Alto, California keeps them connected to the centers of mainstream venture investment and the world’s leading innovation ecosystem. Visit www.FinistereVentures.com.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,819 million (2013) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 22,400 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.