Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Finistere Ventures Launch €20 million Ireland AgTech Fund

  • ISIF to invest a total of €40 million in Finistere-managed AgTech venture funds – €20 million in the Ireland AgTech Fund and €20 million in a global AgTech fund
  • Finistere Ventures to open first EU office in Ireland
  • Partnership plans to increase AgTech’s economic impact in Ireland
  • Ireland to become a hub for AgTech start-ups

DUBLIN, IRELAND —September 6th, 2017 —The Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine, Michael Creed TD, has today announced the launch of the €20 million Ireland AgTech Fund (IAF).

Minister Creed said: “This investment by ISIF complements Government strategy set out in the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) Foodwise 2025 strategy and many years of investment by Government in agricultural research and innovation in Ireland.”

A partnership between the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and California-based Finistere Ventures, a global AgTech venture pioneer, the IAF will invest in start-up and early stage AgTech companies that can generate significant economic impact in the Irish Agriculture and Food sectors.

Finistere’s Kieran Furlong, Ireland AgTech Fund partner, said:

“We want Ireland to be the AgTech Island – a hub for European AgTech. All the ingredients are here – a longstanding, export-oriented Agri-Food industry; world-leading research at Irish universities and institutions such as Teagasc; and, of course, the thriving IT, biopharma and medtech sectors. AgTech is essentially the combination of all of these, so we see great potential for start-ups here.”

Cathal Fitzgerald, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s Head of Food & Agricultural Investments, said:

“We view agriculture and food technology as a significant a high-potential growth area for the Irish economy and have sought out a best-in-class AgTech fund. Finistere has a global reputation in what is still a very specialised area of venture investing and its decision to locate its first EU office in Dublin is a significant vote of confidence in Ireland’s Agri-food credentials.

“The IAF has strong potential to deliver a commercial return on our investment, stimulate the growth of the Irish AgTech sector at large, and support the commercialization of the state’s significant investment in this sector.”

New Finistere EU hub in Ireland

As part of its commitment to fostering an AgTech hub in Ireland, Finistere is also announcing plans to open its first European office in Dublin to accelerate its investment and market penetration in Ireland and in the EU.

Mr. Furlong will head Finistere’s new office in Dublin. He will source investment opportunities in Ireland, attract entrepreneurs to AgTech and identify promising technologies emerging from a wide range of Irish research institutions.

Mr. Furlong was previously Finistere’s entrepreneur-in-residence, based in California, and brings a wealth of international experience from large chemicals companies and biotech/cleantech start-ups. A native of Co Wexford, he earned a degree in chemical engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Global AgTech Network & Investments

In addition to the IAF investment, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund is investing an additional €20 million in Finistere’s global AgTech fund. This gives Ireland exposure to the fastest growing and highest potential AgTech start-ups around the world as well as Finistere’s extensive network of co-investors and agri-food industry partners.

Finistere Ventures Founding Partner Arama Kukutai, said:

“We are proud to be partnering Ireland Strategic Investment Fund in the IAF.  Ireland is one of a select band of countries that are centres of excellence in Ag Technology. Finistere aims to invest in start-up companies that are solving for the big problems facing agriculture. We see Ireland as a great hub for many of our investment companies into the EU, a young and dynamic pool of talent, as well as a rich source of untapped Food & Ag R&D that can prove valuable to the world’s largest agriculture markets.”

Entrepreneurs who are seeking funding for high-potential AgTech start-ups are encouraged to contact Finistere.

About Finistere Ventures

Finistere Ventures is a leading California-based agricultural technology and life sciences venture capital investor, with offices in Palo Alto, San Diego, Israel and now Ireland. Its team has developed and invested in some of the most successful AgTech companies of the last 20 years. Visit Finistere.com.

Actively investing in AgTech innovation around the globe, Finistere works closely with industry leaders such as Agrium, Bayer, DuPont, the International Farming Corporation and PepsiCo.

Current Finistere portfolio companies include Crop Pro Insurance, CropX, Plenty, Taranis and ZeaKal, and the firm recently co-founded Radicle, an acceleration fund dedicated to growing early stage AgTech start-ups around the globe into proven industry leaders with an alliance of top Ag industry leaders.

About Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF)

ISIF is Ireland’s sovereign development fund (an €8.5 billion portfolio) and has a statutory mandate to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in the State. It is controlled and managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

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Media Contacts:

John Keilthy
Reputation Inc. for Finistere Ventures in Ireland
C: +353.87.241.5173
jkeilthy@reputation-inc.com

Erica Camilo
Connexa Communications for Finistere Ventures outside of Ireland
C: +1 610.639.5644
Erica@connexacommunications.com

David Clerkin
Gordon MRM for Ireland Strategic Investment Fund
C: +353.87.830.1779
ntma@gordonmrm.ie