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NL: Brightlands Agrifood Ventures grows to € 20 mln in a second closing

Brightlands Agrifood Ventures has realized a second closing of its fund with three additional funding parties, each with a commitment of € 1 million. The three parties are LLTB (Limburgse Land- en Tuinbouwbond), Van Herk Ventures and an undisclosed private individual active in modern greenhouse farming. The additional commitments bring the total size of the fund to slightly more than € 20 million. The parties involved signed for this second closing on 25 October, at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo.

Fund manager Kim de Boer comments: “We are happy to welcome these additional investors to the fund. Each of these parties have a strong added value to help build startups and enhance the Brightlands ecosystem in the agrifood domain”. Brightlands Agrifood Ventures was launched in October 2017 and is a venture fund managed by Chemelot Ventures Management. Through its funds Chemelot Ventures Management provides funding to startups and fast-growing companies in and around the Brightlands campuses in the south of the Netherlands. With this fund they include agrifood in their focus. The fund will invest in approximately ten promising technology startups in agrifood that have a close link with the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo. The fund focuses on innovations in crop protection and optimization, seed improvement, precision agriculture, valorization of agricultural and horticultural waste and healthy nutrition.

The first closing of Brightlands Agrifood Ventures stood at a total of € 17 million, funded by Rabobank Venlo (€ 5 million), the Province of Limburg (€ 5 million) and LIOF (€ 1 million) while the fund’s management also contributed. Moreover, the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) pledged an amount of € 6 million under the so-called Seed Capital scheme. Leon Faassen, chairman of LLTB: “The current position of agriculture as one of the major economical strengths in Limburg (and the Netherlands) is the result of good entrepreneurship combined with on-going innovation. LLTB wants to contribute to the further development of agriculture in Limburg and help enable innovations and support startups”. Dharminder Chahal, Van Herk Ventures: “Van Herk Ventures is committed to investing in Green Tech as it offers solutions to a major world issue by developing innovative solutions for safer food production under changing climate conditions. The Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is an inspiring initiative and we are happy to support it.”

LLTB (Limburgse Land- en Tuinbouwbond) is the institution which represents the interests of farmers and covers all agricultural sectors: agriculture, greenhouse farming, horticulture, cattle breeding, horse keeping, arboriculture, nature maintenance and development as well as multifunctional agriculture. Van Herk Ventures, located in Rotterdam is a well-established venture capital investor with an impressive and longstanding track record. Van Herk Ventures is active both via direct investments and via fund of fund investments. Chemelot Ventures Management is an independent regional venture capital fund manager in the south of the Netherlands (Limburg). Apart from Brightlands Agrifood Ventures it manages two other venture capital funds: Limburg Ventures, a € 15 million fund founded in 2004 and Chemelot Ventures, a € 40 million fund founded in 2014. Chemelot Ventures is funded by DSM, LIOF, Rabobank and the Province of Limburg and has invested in 14 startups to date. Its focus is on sustainability (Brightlands Chemelot Campus) and health (Brightlands Health Campus Maastricht).

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