$50 mln venture launched: 1868 Ventures

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, as well as hydroponic and indoor growing products, announced today the launch of 1868 Ventures. The fund is part of the company’s commitment to find innovative ways to meet and exceed the evolving needs of gardeners and professional growers.

1868 Ventures will focus on investments in controlled environment agriculture technologies, plant genetics, natural and organic alternatives for fertilizers and controls, and sustainable products and packaging. Investments will focus on areas where Scotts Miracle-Gro may be a logical customer or partner, or where the company’s professionals can add value through their expertise in retail distribution, product formulation and development, marketing and branding, and indoor growing products.

“Since our founding in 1868, we have been an industry leader that has evolved through innovation and ingenuity,” said Randy Coleman, Chief Financial Officer of Scotts Miracle-Gro. “The creation of 1868 Ventures is a tip of the hat to this legacy while allowing our team to discover, support and learn from innovators and entrepreneurs as they build their vision into new realities.”

The fund will be stage-agnostic, with an emphasis on early and growth stage companies that have demonstrated traction in the market and are generating revenue. Typical investments will range between $0.25-2.5 million initially, with reserves for follow-on investments. 1868 Ventures will primarily seek investments in companies that operate in North America.

These investment efforts will be managed together with Touchdown Ventures, a firm specializing in corporate venture capital. Touchdown will work closely with senior executives at Scotts Miracle-Gro to operate the fund.

“We are enthusiastic about the capital investment, industry expertise, and customer validation that Scotts Miracle-Gro can bring to innovators in lawn and garden care and controlled environment agriculture,” noted David Horowitz, Co-Founder and CEO of Touchdown Ventures. “We believe Scotts Miracle-Gro will be the partner of choice for entrepreneurs seeking to create a competitive advantage for their startups in these categories.”

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