The ‘Transforming Food Production: Series A Investor Partnership Programme’ has selected a pool of lead private investors who are ready to invest alongside grant funding from Innovate UK, as detailed on the competition page here.

Shown below are the investors that have been selected as part of this programme, working to align grant support and private investment. Please note that this list of lead investors is hosted by KTN for Innovate UK/UKRI and KTN was not involved in the selection of these investors. More details about how the investors were selected is provided by Innovate UK/UKRI at the competition page above.

The programme is now looking for AgriTech SME to apply to their SME competition. If you’re an AgriTech SME working to transform food production towards net-zero emissions and looking for investment to fast track your innovation, click here to sign-up for our briefing event and find out more about the competition.

Please read on below to find out more about the 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

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

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. 

Their core business is “first-time” equity tickets of £1m to £3m — too large for “friends and family” or most angel groups, but typically not yet economically viable for institutional venture fund models. Their ideal target company generates between £500k and £1.5m in revenue at the point of 24Haymarket’s first investment (in respect of B2B or enterprise-facing opportunities), or £3-5m in respect of consumer-facing opportunities. They focus on investing in only UK based companies where they can leverage their Angel base’s connections. They seek to invest to own at least 10% ownership post-money and increase their exposure in the companies that are performing well. 

They adhere to a transparent investment process where their executive team undertakes initial screening work before engaging the sector experts in their network to evaluate potential opportunities. They actively support their portfolio. They have built out a support function that provides sales training, CEO mentoring support, strategic pricing, best practices in brand development, digital marketing, international expansion, technology resilience and scalability, as well as access to alternative funding sources (venture capital, non-dilutive grant funding via their relationship with UKRI and venture debt). They offer their portfolio companies the opportunity to engage in regular sessions with members of their network and employ a professional consultant who specialises in pipeline management and leadership training. 

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

Craigmore Sustainables

Craigmore Sustainables is a sponsor of agricultural and related tech investments – especially those that help to lower mankind’s environmental intensities. Craigmore has staff in both the UK and New Zealand. Forbes Elworthy is co-founder of Craigmore. He is based in the UK. Map of Ag is excited to be contributing to Innovate UK’s Agri-tech Series A investor partnership scheme. 

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.

Milltrust Agricultural Investments Limited 

Milltrust Agricultural Investments Limited is an experienced UK venture capital investor with a proven track record in investing in early-stage companies within the AgriFood space. They are therefore able to provide both funding and advice to early-stage companies.

They were the seed investor into Roslin Technologies via the British Innovation Fund, the largest UK AgriFood start-up, established in 2016. They have helped build Roslin into a company with a multi-million-pound valuation which is developing cutting-edge initiatives across alternative protein, animal health and breeding programmes.

Through the British Innovation Fund and Roslin, they have established relationships with significant experts across the AgTech sector who they are able to call upon for advice and expertise in relation to potential investments and their portfolio companies.

 

Through their farmland funds, they also have the ability to trial and test potential technologies in the field to help advance technologies and provide initial feedback and data regarding performance.

 

Their investment criteria include:

  • Evidence that early-stage milestones have been met: clearly defined milestones to sustainable cash flow and/or exit
  • IP protected via patent and held by the company. If held by a university / other body, reasonable terms and exclusivity to the company
  • Clear case as to why the product is significantly better than the competition and disruptive
  • Clear market identified of reasonable size
  • Completion of successful trials with customers: evidence of such trials and evidence of improvements made to the product
  • More than one identified customer – customers must be shown to be of reasonable size
  • Preference for generating revenue or contracts in place or LOIs signed with potential customers
  • Proven ability to scale up production and manufacturing facility/partner identified (as applicable)
  • Preference for subcontracting production rather than building facilities
  • Board which includes experienced scientists/management team with proven experience of growing venture firms
  • Scope for Fund Board representation (depending on the proportion of company held)
  • Sign-off from Fund board of scientific advisers that the technology is viable and has the potential to be disruptive and commercially successful

Find out more at milltrust.com or email info@milltrust.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 500K Max EUR 4mln

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

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