Flora Ventures has launched an $80 million fund and announced its first closing with commitments of $50 million into sustainable agrifood tech start-ups.
Flora Ventures says this makes it the largest Israeli-based agrifood venture capital (VC) and, according to IVC data, the largest Israeli new VC fund to have completed a first closing during 2023 across all tech investment verticals.
The company invests in early-stage agrifood start-ups in Israel and Europe, that are building a “healthier, more sustainable and resilient agrifood system”.
Flora Ventures co-founders are Gil Horsky, former Mondelēz executive and corporate venture investor in the global agrifood ecosystem, and Esther Barak-Landes, VC investor and co-founder of Nielsen’s incubator and investment arm.
They completed the initial raise with partners including Sadot Kibbutzim, a coop bringing together more than 185 Kibbutzim with an agricultural output of more than $3 billion exported to over 100 countries.
They offer the fund’s portfolio access to agricultural land, production capabilities and expertise for initial proof of concept and ability to scale their technologies.
Barak-Landes said: “I have been fortunate in my career to lead important VC deals in the retail-tech, fintech, and digital transformation sectors, which enables me to reapply proven technologies and business models to the agrifood industry where it is greatly needed. I am excited to bring my skills to finding and fuelling start-ups from Israel and Europe that are good for people and kind to the planet, while helping to build the next generation of agrifood unicorns.”
Horsky added: “Working for leading food multinationals, as well as co-founding one of the industry’s most successful corporate venture capital and incubation initiatives in Mondelēz, taught me the value of having design partners early on. That’s why we are excited that Flora can provide our start-ups proprietary access to Haifa Group, Sadot Kibbutzim and Harel Group, which are among the most innovative and agile design partners in the industry.”
Flora Ventures has also completed its first investment in Arrakis Bio, a stealth-mode Israeli start-up, developing a breakthrough technology poised to revolutionise the production and utilisation of human collagen and gelatine that is animal free.
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