Syngenta Ventures and the innovation lab of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Lab) are each making a Limited Partner investment in the first Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) agriculture technology-specific venture capital fund, AgVentures Fund II. The fund, managed by São Paulo Ventures (SP Ventures), promotes innovation in the agriculture and food technology sector. The fund will target at least $50 million of capital to invest in startups that are reshaping the agricultural value chain in inclusive, transparent and favorable ways. The fund is being supported by well-known institutional investors and is expected to invest in 20 companies in the late Seed & Series A stages across LAC. Tomás Lopes Teixeira, IDB Lab’s Chief Investment Officer, says:
LAC’s food systems need new solutions for increasing food production while adopting a more inclusive and sustainable path. Innovative technology from agfood and agtech start-ups can play a central role by providing farm-level solutions to help small holders and rural workers improve productivity, livelihoods and climate resilience.
SP Ventures is a leading venture capital firm specialized in investing and mentoring start-ups and has a successful track record managing funds with investments in Brazil and Argentina. SP Ventures co-founded the region’s first agtech accelerator, Pulse Hub, with the largest sugarcane and ethanol player in the world, Raízen. Pulse Hub, has become a beacon for technology in the agri-energy sector. David Pierson, Managing Director, Syngenta Ventures, says:
Syngenta Ventures has been collaborating informally with SP Ventures for the past 5 years. We consider them to be among the best early-stage, ag-focused investment teams in Latin America with the most broadly developed network of relationships. SP Venture’s investment thesis is complementary to Syngenta Venture’s goal of helping to develop the innovation ecosystem in Latin America. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate alongside the IDB Lab and other institutional investors in the new fund.
The agfood and agtech industry have witnessed significant growth in LAC over the past few years. Tens of thousands of low-producing small and medium-sized farms and hundreds of thousands of farmers in rural settings may benefit from the innovations introduced by the fund’s startup investments. Benefits to the region may include increased farm productivity and farmer incomes, improved environmental performance in the form of increased climate resilience and better management of natural resources (such as water, energy and land). Francisco Jardim, managing partner for SP Ventures, says:
We will be looking for brilliant entrepreneurs who are doing exceptional work in the region. We had the opportunity to help develop the ecosystem in Brazil and Argentina and invest in very special companies. And now, with AgVentures II, we will expand this game plan to the rest of the region, which is rapidly becoming more integrated, creating a larger single market.
About IDB Lab
IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the leading source of development finance and know-how for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, by mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations affected by economic, social or environmental factors. Since 1993, IDB Lab has approved more than US$2 billion in projects deployed across 26 LAC countries. www.https://idblab.org
About Syngenta Ventures
Syngenta Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Syngenta Group, one of the world’s leading agriculture innovation companies, with roots going back more than 250 years. Its 48,000 people across more than 100 countries strive to transform agriculture through breakthrough products and technologies that play a vital role in enabling the food chain to feed the world safely, sustainably and with respect for our planet. Launched in 2009, Syngenta Ventures was one of the first corporate venture capital teams dedicated to agriculture. With an experienced team of investment professionals and a large, diverse portfolio of investments, Syngenta Ventures has established itself as one of the most active and knowledgeable investors in the space today. Syngenta Ventures makes investments across North America, Europe, Latin America, Israel, India and China with a common theme of helping growers to be more profitable while positively impacting the future of agriculture. See more about Syngenta Ventures at https://www.syngentaventures.com/.
This article was originally published by IDB Lab.