Australia-based global fund manager Artesian Venture Partners and the Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) have launched an A$50-million ($35.8 million) agtech fund, according to a statement issued last week.
Artesian and GRDC each committed A$25 million ($17.9 million) to the GrainInnovate fund.
The fund will invest in seed to growth-stage startups to help drive the future profitability and sustainability of Australia’s grain growers. Its check sizes will range between A$25,000 ($17,930) and A$5 million ($3.6 million). As the startup moves into its growth stage, the fund will rope in corporate investors and VC firms to facilitate further investment.
“This initiative is unique in that it’s focused entirely on the Australian grains industry. It also represents one of the largest institutional capital pools in Australia. It will act as a beacon to attract world-class agri technologies to boost innovation and modernisation across the grains industry,” said GRDC chairman John Woods.
GrainInnovate will target scalable, high growth potential startups from all facets of the grains production and processing chain.
Woods said that the initiative is aimed at entrepreneurs and startups working across a spectrum of areas including genetic tools and technologies, crop and environmental sensing, grain storage logistics, renewable technologies, managing frost and heat, task automation and crop protection technologies.
GRDC is a global grain research organisation that oversees research and development to improve production, sustainability and profits in the Australian grains industry.
Artesian is a global alternative investment firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai. It was spun out of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in 2004 with a focus on fixed income and venture capital investments. It claims to be Australia’s largest seed-stage VC fund with A$250 million ($179 million) in assets under management.