Growth capital investor, Pontifax AgTech Management, has secured commitments totalling $302 million for its second food and agricultural technology fund.
According to Pontifax AgTech, its second fund was oversubscribed and brings the company’s total assets under management (AUM) to $465 million. It was almost three times bigger than the firm’s initial fund – which closed at $105 million in October 2017 – and will be used to back promising technology providers in food and agriculture production.
Founded in 2013, the California-headquartered firm invests globally in fast-growing businesses with technologies that are proven to improve the productivity, sustainability and efficiency of the food and agriculture supply chain.
To date, Pontifax AgTech has invested in 11 companies and its portfolio includes biotechnology company, AgBiome, a next generation robotics and automation technology for crop cultivation, Blue River Technology, and traceability and tracking platform, FoodLogiq.
The company says it works in partnership with a network of growers, technology experts and strategic corporate partners to thoroughly evaluate and maximise the success of the capital raised.
“Food demand is expected to double in the next three decades, while production is constrained by diminishing supplies of land, water and labour, coupled with increasing regulation,” said Phil Erlanger, co-founder and managing partner of Pontifax AgTech.
He added: “The current pandemic has only highlighted issues of food security and makes improving agricultural productivity, nutrition, and supply chain efficiency of paramount importance for global health and sustainability. We are focused on pursuing disruptive technologies that result in healthier food while providing attractive returns for our investors.”
The fund saw commitments from domestic and international financial institutions, state pension funds, university endowments, foundations, as well as large-scale growers and family offices.
Ben Belldegrun, co-founder and managing partner of Pontifax AgTech, said: “Sophisticated investors are increasingly discovering the agriculture and food technology sector as a means to diversify their alternatives strategies and as an opportunity to make a significant impact on sustainability. Our growth capital strategy offers investors a compelling risk/return investment profile while benefiting food security, climate change, grower well-being and consumer health.”
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