Finistere Ventures and New Zealand Growth Capital Partners Launch $40M NZD Agrifood Fund Focused on Sustainability and Nutrition Innovations Global Investor With NZ Roots to Help Build Critical Connections for Agrifood Tech Startup Commercialization

PALO ALTO, CALIF., PALMERSTON NORTH, NEW ZEALAND — April 13 2021 — Finistere Ventures, a pioneering investor in agrifood technology companies, today announced the launch of the $40M NZD Finistere Aotearoa Fund in partnership with New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP). Drawing on Finistere’s experience investing in VC-ready opportunities in agriculture, food and sustainability, the new fund will focus on commercializing New Zealand’s robust technology and intellectual property pipeline to support the growing global demand for solutions addressing sustainability and nutrition needs.

“New Zealand has become a world leader in agricultural research and innovation focused on curtailing the environmental impact of agriculture, fueled in part by the government’s continued investment in and passion for environmental and agricultural efforts. Investing over $250M annually through its public sector institutions, cementing its commitment to a zero-emissions national agriculture strategy and continuing its close partnership with its ag and food ecosystem, New Zealand is a center for agricultural excellence,” said Arama Kukutai, co-founder and partner, Finistere Ventures. “Having a strong local presence in Aotearoa has long been on our agenda. We are excited to partner with NZGCP to support the global commercialization of NZ’s most promising agrifood technology advancements.”

“We are committed to building a vibrant investment ecosystem in New Zealand to support our burgeoning technology innovation cluster focused on advances in agriculture, food and sustainability. With deep roots in New Zealand, an impressive investment track record and strong partnerships around the globe, Finistere brings the domain expertise, international network, industry relationships and smart capital needed to help New Zealand startups become major players in the booming agrifood sector,” added James Pinner, investment director for NZGCP’s $300M NZD Elevate fund.

Finistere’s new fund operations will be based in Palmerston North at The Factory, a leading R&D and company incubation cluster that has a longstanding relationship with Finistere. The Factory has been central to Finistere’s investments in New Zealand-grown companies such as BioLumic and ZeaKal, as well as its most recent investment in Sprout alongside partners Fonterra and OurCrowd.

The Hon. Stuart Nash, Minister for Economic and Regional Development, stated, “In the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan that was launched last year, we highlighted that investment was a key constraint for the sector, so we welcome the creation of this specialist fund and look forward to its productive contribution to New Zealand’s transformation.”

Kukutai added, “This new fund underpins our commitment to the local ecosystem. In the year ahead, our goal is to anchor more investment from our global network of partners like Rabobank, RIV Capital Inc. and Yamaha to support New Zealand’s best startups alongside us – similar to what we’ve accomplished in Ireland, Israel and North America.”

“This new fund underpins our commitment to the local ecosystem. In the year ahead, our goal is to anchor more investment from our global network of partners like Rabobank, RIV Capital Inc. and Yamaha to support New Zealand’s best startups alongside us – similar to what we’ve accomplished in Ireland, Israel and North America.” ARAMA KUKUTAI

Dean Tilyard, founder and director of Sprout, will now serve as Finistere’s New Zealand Venture Partner and lead the new fund. Tilyard noted, “While more than $46B has been invested in agrifood tech over the last decade – a trend likely to increase with the growing focus on sustainability – New Zealand hasn’t had the connected capital players necessary to help our companies take full advantage of this trend. The Finistere NZGCP partnership will make a big difference by being able to lead diligence and financing of local opportunities. Our innovation cluster here is as good as anything in the Netherlands or Israel, but has been less well known. That is changing.”

The fund will focus on supporting high-potential technologies with a concentration on advanced crop protection technologies, nutrient management, alternative proteins, food delivery, and supply chain advances to promote a healthier, more sustainable food and ag ecosystem.

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