Finistere Ventures, an investor in agrifood technology companies, today announced the launch of the $40M NZD Finistere Aotearoa Fund in partnership with New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP).
“New Zealand has become big in agricultural research and innovation focused on curtailing the environmental impact of agriculture, fueled in part by the government’s continued investment in and passion for environmental and agricultural efforts. Investing over $250M annually through its public sector institutions, cementing its commitment to a zero-emissions national agriculture strategy and continuing its close partnership with its ag and food ecosystem, New Zealand is a center for agricultural excellence,” said Arama Kukutai, co-founder and partner, Finistere Ventures.
Finistere’s new fund operations will be based in Palmerston North at The Factory, a leading R&D and company incubation cluster that has a longstanding relationship with Finistere. The Factory has been central to Finistere’s investments in New Zealand-grown companies such as BioLumic and ZeaKal, as well as its most recent investment in Sprout alongside partners Fonterra and OurCrowd.
The Hon. Stuart Nash, Minister for Economic and Regional Development, stated, “In the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan that was launched last year, we highlighted that investment was a key constraint for the sector, so we welcome the creation of this specialist fund and look forward to its productive contribution to New Zealand’s transformation.”
Kukutai added, “This new fund underpins our commitment to the local ecosystem. In the year ahead, our goal is to anchor more investment from our global network of partners like Rabobank, RIV Capital, and Yamaha to support New Zealand’s best startups alongside us – similar to what we’ve accomplished in Ireland, Israel, and North America.”
Dean Tilyard, founder and director of Sprout, will now serve as Finistere’s New Zealand Venture Partner and lead the new fund. Tilyard noted, “While more than $46B has been invested in agrifood tech over the last decade – a trend likely to increase with the growing focus on sustainability. The Finistere NZGCP partnership will make a big difference by being able to lead diligence and financing of local opportunities.”
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