Artesian Venture Partners has partnered with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to launch GrainInnovate, a $50 million fund aimed at agtech startups.
With a $25 million cornerstone investment from the GRDC, the fund will invest in startups developing software, hardware, or new business models applicable to Australia’s grain growers.
Particular areas of interest include task automation, crop management logistics, crop and environmental sensing, and renewable technologies.
The fund will invest at seed through to growth stage. It will invest between $25,000 to $100,000 in seed stage deals, between $100,000 to $500,000 at angel stage, from $500,000 to $5 million in Series A deals, and work with its partners and industry to facilitate later-stage deals.
According to Artesian, the fund will invest in startups founded overseas, however they must demonstrate their “commitment to developing the profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers”.
John Woods, chairman of GRDC, said that Australian grain growers are some of the most innovative in the world, however new innovations, technologies and bright ideas must be sought out and put into the hands of growers if the industry is to stay competitive.
“Whether you’re a grower, breeder, research scientist, agronomist or ag tech developer, if you’ve got an innovation that can improve production or address a grains industry constraint, we want to hear from you so we can capitalise on those opportunities and maximise the productiveness of our systems,” he said.
“This initiative is unique in that its focussed entirely on the Australian grains industry. It also represents one of the largest institutional capital pools in Australia. It will act as a beacon to attract world-class agri technologies to boost innovation and modernisation across the grains industry.”
This is not the first agtech-focused fund for Artesian. The firm also manages the $10 million fund for Melbourne agtech accelerator and community SproutX.
The launch of GrainInnovate comes as the agtech industry comes together for the evokeAG conference in Melbourne this week.
Covering food, the farm, and the future, the event is bringing together the community to see what’s happening across agrifood tech and related research in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
Image: John Woods. Source: GRDC.