Meet the investors ready to invest in AgriTech SMEs working towards net zero emissions

Posted on: 27/09/2021

The ‘SMEs Transforming Food Production: Series A Investor Partnership’ programme is launching its second round. The pool of lead private investors selected for Round 1 is expanding for Round 2, ready to invest alongside grant funding from Innovate UK.

Find out more about the SMEs Transformation Food Production: Series A Investor Partnership

Read about the investors that have been selected for Round 2 as part of this programme, working to align grant support and private investment.

This list of lead investors is hosted by KTN on behalf of Innovate UK/UKRI and KTN was not involved in the selection of these investors. For more details about how the investors were selected, click here.

Read on to find out more about the current cohort of investors and what they are looking for.

Dismatrix Group

Dismatrix Group is a multinational private equity, private credit, and venture capital firm that focuses on innovative-yet-sustainable trends in technology, wellness, and plant-based food. The firm invests across the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Dismatrix is co-managed by Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni (a world-renowned plant-based food expert and entrepreneur) and Miray Zaki (Dow Jones Financial News top 100 women in finance, invested USD 17 billion on behalf of various groups).

They invest in 4 main sectors: (1) Technology, (2) consumer retail, (3) health and wellness, and (4) old industries being disrupted. They have long identified and invested in plant-based and other food revolutions as a trend that covers all sectors.

They are already investors in multiple parts of the supply chain within the plant-based spectrum of opportunities, e.g. The Vurger Co (which has its owned & operated stores + CPG lines in the UK), Matthew Kenney Cuisine (US celebrity chef platform), Beyond Burger, Blue Horizon (which owns stakes in Live Kindly, Impossible Foods, Veestro, Finless, etc.), Plantable (US), etc.

Historically speaking, Dismatrix Group have experienced building and exiting many businesses, including FMCG, on multiple contents (e.g. inviting Heineken to submit an offer to purchase a beer business in Ethiopia at 2.5x+ the next best offer), rolling out of a global pizza chain in Turkey (2009-2012), bidding on a global QSR master franchise, bidding on sale of Americana (middle east master franchise holder of multiple QSR’s + own canned foods brands), etc.

Dismatrix’s principals have a personal track record of investing in 56 deals, having 42 exits, and 29.83% IRR since 2008 (through to Feb 2020) within the PE space (growing businesses and exiting), as well as a 4.8x Multiple of Invested Capital in the Vegan / Plant-based VC space.

They encourage any SMEs looking for funding to contact them at team@vegancapital.vc.

Cottagequinn Enterprises

Cottagequinn Enterprises Ltd is the investment carrying vehicle of Jim Dobson OBE.

Jim is former Chief Executive and Chairman of Dunbia, one of the largest meat processors across the UK serving markets including major UK and EU retail operators, foodservice and commercial sectors.

Establishing Dunbia over 40 years ago, Jim co-founded Dunbia with his brother. During this time Jim’s entrepreneurial vision and strategic leadership led the growth and development of the company from a small butchers shop to a highly respected and successful business operation turning over £700m and employing over 4,000 staff. In 2017, the business merged with Dawn UK to become a £1billon turnover company.

Jim has recently retired from Dunbia having overseen the partnership transition and is now seeking to share his expertise and experience gained over the years in the food supply chain sector as well as and provide both financial and entrepreneurial support to up and coming business throughout all aspects of the agri-supply chain.

With a wealth of knowledge and contacts at all levels including agriculture, academia and retailer, Jim, through Cottagequinn Enterprises Ltd, is aiming to continue to make an impact in the food supply chain across the UK and help to bring sustainable success to up and coming innovative companies.

Email enquiries can be sent to jim.dobson@cottagequinn.com

24Haymarket

24Haymarket is a leading early-stage investment firm focused on high-growth businesses, investing up to £5 million in any company. Headquartered in London, with a regional office in Edinburgh, the 24Haymarket Angel base comprises 100 members with a combined 3,000+ years of business experience with Director-level exposure to over 200 companies worth a combined £700bn.

24Haymarket focuses on initial growth equity and venture capital investments of £1m – £3m in UK based companies who have demonstrated initial commercial traction. They provide operational support post-investment through appointing experienced Investor Directors and facilitating relevant commercial introductions from its network alongside a core portfolio support function focussed on; leadership mentoring, sales training, talent recruitment and best practices in product and technology. Since inception, 24Haymarket have invested £70m+ in 49 high-growth companies, achieved 70% consolidated revenue CAGR since first investment and six profitable full or partial realisations to-date.

Find out more at 24haymarket.com and contact Hugo Melvin at hugo@24haymarket.com with any questions.

Yield Lab Europe

Yield Lab Europe is the leading venture capital funder of early-stage AgriFood and Ag Tech companies that are working to revolutionise agriculture and food systems to sustainably feed the world. This includes technologies in crop production, animal health and welfare, precision agriculture, supply chain/logistics, food ingredients, supply chain, food processing and packaging.

Yield Lab Europe provides venture capital funding up to €2m per company and runs an annual accelerator that supports early-stage companies with €100,000 investment and tailored support.

In addition to providing capital, Yield Lab Europe provides access to individualised mentoring from industry experts, access to the premiere Agri-Food/ Ag Tech accelerator in Ireland, and access to the Yield Lab global network of experts, corporates and investors all around the world to enable companies to successfully scale and commercialise internationally.

Find out more at yieldlab.ie or email europe@theyieldlab.com.

IQ Capital

IQ Capital is a venture capital firm, based between Cambridge and London, that invests in ‘deep-tech’ across sectors including machine learning, AI, robotics, and advanced engineering and materials, and data-focused propositions based on disruptive algorithms. All of the firm’s portfolio companies are capable of dominating their respective markets on a global scale. Initial investments range from £300k to £5m, with capacity for follow-on investment up to £30m through the growth fund.

The IQ Capital team has achieved over 20 exits to date, to companies including Oracle, Google, Apple, Huawei, and Facebook, and several IPOs including Stillfront Group. IQ Capital has led 25 investments over the last three years.

The firm makes initial investments at Seed and Series A stage, currently investing from its £140m 2018 vintage IQ Capital Fund III.

For more information, please visit www.iqcapital.vc

Maven Capital Partners 

Maven is one of the UK’s most active private equity managers in the lower mid-market, investing for client funds including four Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), a UK buyout fund and a number of regionally focused funds delivering equity and debt finance. Maven is an FCA regulated private equity manager, with 12 regional offices across the UK.

They offer a range of flexible funding solutions for entrepreneurial businesses at any stage of the growth cycle, with the ability to commit as little as £100,000 of development capital or as much as £15 million to support an MBO.

Get in touch with their deal team at funding@mavencp.com.

Tern

Tern is a leading venture capital firm specialising in investing in early-stage IoT start-ups. They back ambitious tech entrepreneurs whose goal is to radically disrupt on a global scale, and operate a venture partner model to work with portfolio companies to help them connect the dots between vision, technology, product and market. They maintain strong links to the Silicon Valley, Europe and into Asia, and facilitate synergies between their portfolio companies to enhance growth.

Future Planet Capital

Future Planet Capital is an international venture capital and impact investor, connecting the world’s largest investors to the best minds in order to address global challenges. FPC focuses on providing growth capital to leading entrepreneurs and businesses from the world’s top universities and research institutions and have deployed over $100M on behalf of institutional investors to date. Future Planet Capital’s goal is to profitably solve the world’s greatest challenges in climate change, education, food security, health and sustainable growth.

Website: https://futureplanetcapital.com/

Contact: g.pengelley@futureplanetcapital.com

Rabobank, Rabo Ventures

The Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund is a leading investor in early-stage food and agricultural companies.

As a division of the global Food & Agri bank, Rabobank, they invest growth capital in innovative companies, from Seed to Series B. Their investment strategy is to support companies striving to improve the sustainability of global food and agricultural supply chains

They can leverage >120 years of F&A expertise and unlock an international network across 38 countries, providing access to dedicated F&A sector experts, research teams and corporate clients.

Their criteria:

  • Companies that present scalable and sustainable solutions to key industry challenges
  • Strong management teams and a clear value proposition
  • Located in UK, EU, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • Min ticket size:  EUR 1.5m up to EUR 7m

Find out more at www.rfaif.com or email rabocorporateinvestments@rabobank.com

KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA

The team of KWS New Business Ventures (NBV) is constantly scouting for technologies and business models to add value to KWS’s established business in seeds and services. They aim to provide sustainable solutions and to support farmers facing various challenges, such as climate change, crop protection, and risk management.

Under the common objective of mutual growth, they support startups through joint research projects, market linkages and/or financial engagement. Until today, they realized direct investments in early and later-stage startups, joint ventures, spin-outs, and indirect fund investments as well as strategic partnerships.

Their investment areas include field phenotyping & data analytics, smart farming, field robotics & automated weeding, distribution channels, market linkages & sales platforms, alternative crops as well as new business models relating to agriculture/food. Interested companies are provided with immediate expert feedbacks and relevant contacts.

Find out more here or email alexander.wiegelmann@kws.com

Foresight Group LLP

Foresight Group was founded in 1984 and is a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager. With a long-established focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) and sustainability-led strategies, it aims to provide attractive returns to its institutional and private investors from hard-to-access private markets. Foresight manages over 300 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind assets, bioenergy and waste, as well as renewable energy enabling projects, energy efficiency management solutions, social and core infrastructure projects and sustainable forestry assets. Its private equity team manages eight regionally focused investment funds across the UK, supporting over 120 SMEs. Its Foresight Capital Management team manages four funds investing in listed real assets with environmental and social benefits, exceeding £1.3bn Assets Under Management (AUM). Foresight operates from 12 offices across six countries in Europe and Australia with AUM of £8.1bn as at 30 September 2021. Foresight Group Holdings Limited listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in February 2021.

Website: https://www.fsg-investors.com/

Kelvin Capital Limited

Kelvin Capital, founded in 2009, has invested in 29 early stage businesses. Having spent the first 6 years investing in pre-revenue companies, the investment focus the last 6 years has moved towards venture growth capital with our criteria of proven technology, market interaction and ability to scale internationally quickly. The core focus for Kelvin Capital is to support globally ambitious companies.

The companies must be UK based, with an ambitious and credible team who are able to demonstrate a minimal viable service or product and are ready to go to market or are currently revenue generating and looking for growth capital. We are sector agnostic but look for companies with the ability to deliver aggressive, international sales growth. For the portfolio companies, Kelvin Capital will not only provide investment but will open up their vast network of connections to provide the support needed to deliver the true potential of each business.

Aside from funding, Kelvin Capital work very closely with the company to ensure good corporate governance and ongoing communication to all stakeholders.

email: theteam@kelvincapital.com

website: https://www.kelvincapital.com

Oxford Science Enterprises PLC

We are Oxford Science Enterprises, the Science Business Builder. We want to help solve the world’s toughest problems for more people, in more places, faster:

  • Enabling people to lead longer, healthier lives
  • Protecting the future of our planet
  • Feeding the world and keeping us safe
  • Accelerating the pace of positive change

We do this by transforming world-leading science into world-changing businesses, partnering the best scientists from the world’s best university with the best business brains. We grow our companies with care and expertise in a way that is systematic and scalable. We invest for real-world impact, not only financial returns. And we re-invest proceeds back into the next generation of scientific research and world-changing businesses. Since 2015, we have taken a leading role in creating and building over 70 Oxford University science spinouts. Today our businesses are worth over £2bn and have created +2,000 jobs. Our vision is a world where the best scientists and brightest business minds combine to solve our biggest challenges at unprecedented speed.

Website: https://oxfordscienceenterprises.com

Contact email: hello@oxfordsciences.com

CPT Capital LLP

CPT Capital is defined by the companies we invest in. From the breakthrough biomimicry methods of Impossible Foods and Redefine Meat to the pioneering technology of Perfect Day and Upside Food, our portfolio companies are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom.

We partner with the best and the boldest companies driving the food technology revolution. From plant-based alternatives to recombinant proteins to cell-based meat, we back the most promising solutions from Seed all the way through to sale or IPO and longer term.

Our investment criteria is based on backing teams aiming to transform the global food production system as early as possible. Specifically, CPT is looking for companies that are seeking to directly replace an animal-derived product and have strong technical barriers to entry or an IP-protected element.

We make investment decisions based on the potential to shape the future of food as well as the potential to achieve extraordinary capital growth.

We look to invest as early as pre-Seed, Seed and Series A and are open to opportunities across the globe. We are looking for passionate and dynamic founders with a strong vision and mission alignment to drive the future of food.

Email: harry.kalms@cptcap.com

Website: www.cptcap.com

Blue Horizon Corporation AG

Blue Horizon is accelerating the transition to a New Sustainable Food System. As a pure play impact investor, Blue Horizon has shaped the growth of the alternative protein and food tech market. The company invests at the intersection of biology, agriculture and technology with the aim to transform the global food industry. Blue Horizon was founded by Roger Lienhard in 2016 and is based in Zurich. To date, the company has raised over USD 850 million and invested in more than 60 companies. Companies are supported by a dedicated global investment team of entrepreneurs, scientists and industry experts.

Website: www.bluehorizon.com

Email: deals@bluehorizon.com

ADM Capital Europe LLP

ADM Capital Europe LLP serves as investment advisor to the Cibus Enterprise Fund. We are a UK based specialist agrifoodtech investor, focussing on investing into innovative companies utilising the latest technology to drive sustainability and resource efficiency across the food and agricultural value chain. Our sweet spot is at the intersection between science led, R&D technology startups and commercially profitable businesses. We work with our companies to scale up operations and accelerate revenue generation and margin development, an area in which we have multiple years of experience through both our venture capital and private equity portfolios. To date we have deployed over USD 500m into companies operating across the food value chain, from crop inputs through to consumer facing products.

Website: https://www.cibusfund.com/

Email: tarquin.stephenson@admcap.com

Batch Ventures LLP

Batch Ventures LLP is a joint venture investment vehicle that focuses on innovate-yet-sustainable trends and technologies in baking, bakery and associated verticles. The firm invests primarily in the UK but would not rule out European investments. We look to back consumer products and emerging technologies that redefine the baking category.

Batch Ventures is a joint venture between the UK’s largest bakery and most purchased food brand and the UK’s leading challenger brand builders. Together, Warburtons and Mission Ventures have more than 100+ years of industry experience. With both operational, investment and brand-building experience.

They are already investors in multiple parts of the category since launching in 2020. Batch Ventures team consists of the former founders of: New Covent Garden Soup, Little Dish, Plum Baby, and Ape Snacks.

They encourage any SMEs looking for funding to contact them at paddy@missionventures.co.uk

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