Silicon Valley agrifood innovation investor SVG is setting up shop in Melbourne with a $50 million fund to back local agtech startups.
SVG will launch its $50 million THRIVE Australia Venture Fund to invest in Australia and New Zealand agtech startups.
Victorian economic development minister Tim Pallas visited California on the weekend to meet with SVG founder John Hartnett and deal the deal for his state.
Hartnett, a former senior exec at several NASDAQ-listed companies, founded SVG in 2010. The business previously dipped its toes in Australian waters with the THRIVE Australia Challenge Award in December 2020, mentoring several Australian agtech startups before animal monitoring platform Ceres Tag was chosen as the winner going on to pitch in the US as part of the THRIVE program.
“We are excited to embark on our ANZ journey from Victoria – a large agricultural market, home to world-leading research organisations and a central location to capture AgTech success,” Hartnett said.
SVG has built a community of more than 6,000 startups from 100 countries over the past 12 years and works with entrepreneurs, investors and Fortune 500 corporations to advance food and agriculture innovation.
The company will bring its proprietary platform – the flagship THRIVE Accelerator Program, Corporate Innovation Program, development programs and events – to Victoria, and also plans to partner with La Trobe University’s Australian Food Innovation Centre (AFIC).
Tim Pallas said the state government’s backing of SGV launching a Melbourne base will give farmers access to more cutting edge technology and Victorian startups greater opportunities
Melbourne will also host the annual THRIVE Australia Innovation and Investment Summit, bringing together some of the world’s brightest minds, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, showcasing creative and innovative solutions to advance the AgTech sector.
“This is a significant vote of confidence in Victorian AgTech and the payoff will be in jobs now and in the future,” Pallas said.
“It will provide a major boost for the innovators developing new products and processes to transform agriculture in Victoria and around the world.”
Victoria’s government has also supported AgTech Regional Innovation Network which helps to connect farmers, technology experts, entrepreneurs, research organisations and universities. The Network includes the Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs Initiative, which supports other AgTech pre-accelerator programs.