A new fund set up by ISIF and Finistere Ventures aims to make Ireland an ‘agritech island’, with another €20m set aside for global start-ups.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has this week announced the launch of the €20 million Ireland AgTech Fund (IAF).
The Ireland Agtech Fund as it is known, was established following a partnership with the Government’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and California-based Finistere Ventures.
The primary purpose of the IAF is to invest in start-up and early stage AgTech companies that can generate significant economic impact in the Irish Agriculture and Food sectors.
In addition of the €20m being invested into Ireland, the ISIF also revealed that it is to invest an additional €20m in Finistere’s global agritech fund.
This, it is believed, will give Ireland exposure to the fastest growing and highest potential AgTech start-ups around the world as well as Finistere’s extensive network of co-investors and agri-food industry partners.
Of the fund, Finistere’s Kieran Furlong, Ireland AgTech Fund partner, said:
“We want Ireland to be the ‘agtech island’ – a hub for European agtech,” he said.
Adding; “All the ingredients are here: a longstanding, export-oriented agri-food industry; world-leading research at Irish universities and institutions such as Teagasc; and, of course, the thriving IT, biopharma and medtech sectors. Agtech is essentially the combination of all of these, so we see great potential for start-ups here.”
The ISIF’s head of food and agricultural investments, Cathal Fitzgerald, shared a similar view.
“We view agriculture and food technology as a significant high-potential growth area for the Irish economy, and have sought out a best-in-class agritech fund,” he said.
“Finistere has a global reputation in what is still a very specialised area of venture investing, and its decision to locate its first EU office in Dublin is a significant vote of confidence in Ireland’s agri-food credentials.”