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New AgTech Accelerator Fund Launched
Consortium of leading global agriculture-technology players form fund to invest and grow Israeli and global startups
Jerusalem, June 29, 2016 – OurCrowd, a leading global crowdfunding VC, announces the Israeli launch of Radicle, an accelerator fund dedicated to growing early stage agricultural technology startups into proven industry leaders. The fund is launched in partnership with Finistere Ventures, Cloud Break Advisors, and an alliance of top agricultural industry leaders, including Bayer and DuPont. Radicle aims to reduce the time to develop, market, and commercialize new agriculture technologies.
With a focus on global AgTech solutions, Radicle will offer a specialized platform to incubate high-quality AgTech companies that can solve global farming problems. Radicle focuses on the areas where growers face the greatest challenges to productivity, sustainability, and quality in food and agriculture. These include technology fields like genomics and plant sciences, seed tech, biologicals for crop protection and regulation, digital (application of data and predictive analytics to precision agriculture), and disruptive or novel farm systems.
OurCrowd will be working closely with its Radicle partners to originate investment opportunities in Israel, sourcing high quality startups with strong growth potential. OurCrowd was a natural partner for the Radicle consortium due to its excellent track record investing in and growing Israeli agricultural companies. Companies in the OurCrowd portfolio include EdenShield, a non-toxic chemical application that protects crops from pest damage, and CropX, a software-driven smart irrigation system, where OurCrowd and Finistere Ventures are both investors.
Radical will be a $15 million fund with $6 million in initial closing commitments.
Radicle maintains a physical presence in all core markets, including Israel, San Diego, Palo Alto, Research Triangle Park and the Midwest USA.
David Stark, General Partner at OurCrowd: “We are excited to work with our partners at Radicle to discover, invest, and grow the next wave of AgTech innovation from Israel and around the world and bring to market solutions that address the greatest challenges that will face farmers over the next half century and beyond.”
“Turning brilliant ideas into viable farming industry businesses requires an intricate combination of industry experience, academic resources, in-field validation opportunities, and a diverse collection of agricultural partners and investment advisors,” said Kirk Haney, CEO of Cloud Break Advisors. “Our entrepreneurial roots, deep-rooted agriculture network, and proven ability to successfully select and develop game-changing AgTech companies ensure we can help innovators reach their full potential. By better understanding and managing the global AgTech opportunity, we provide a fertile environment for industry visionaries to not just grow, but to flourish.”
“DuPont Pioneer continually scouts the innovation frontier for novel ways to improve agricultural productivity and seeks to collaborate with those on the cutting edge of science, even at the earliest stages of technology development,” said Neal Gutterson, Vice President, Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer. “Radicle’s virtual accelerator operating model and investing approach is expected to help Pioneer achieve these objectives.”
“Investing in the Radicle accelerator fits perfectly with Bayer’s global investment strategy,” added Geoff Kneen, R&D Licensing & New Ventures Manager for North America, Bayer. “It complements our VC partnership with Finistere, which can support earlier stage ventures in the United States with a global pipeline. The deep AgTech knowledge and experience of the management team and investor partners will be able to provide strong guidance to the startup companies.”
Arama Kukutai, Partner at Finistere Ventures noted, “By providing a seed funding round and comprehensive diligence, Radicle offers a unique platform to help entrepreneurs build a Series A finance ready company faster, with less capital. Radicle takes technology from global innovation centers that are already de-risked from a science perspective, and then applies its deep domain knowledge, connected network of capital, talent and market access. We expect a deeper and better prepared pipeline of new AgTech companies to emerge.”
The Radicle accelerator fund provides:
- Expert advisory services and strategic mentorship from a wide network of experts and proven entrepreneurs
- Access to key leaders and corporate relationships across a range of industry focus areas
- Connections with top academic institutions including Texas A&M, University of California, University of Missouri, University of Queensland and the University of Wisconsin Madison
- Strong industry partnerships with Ag leaders, such as Bayer, Bunge, Dow Agrosciences, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta
- A network of participating public and private research institutes including Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, BSES, CSIRO, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Landcare Research
- Follow-on financing round options from the founding investors and their networks once companies ”graduate” from the accelerator
- A service platform with an intense focus on value creation initiatives and exit planning guidance from the start
OurCrowd is a leading venture capital equity crowdfunding platform for investors from around the world to invest in global startups. Managed by a team of seasoned investment professionals, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital, and brings companies to its accredited membership of global investors. OurCrowd and its investors have invested over $230 million in nearly 100 companies, already generating six exits. To become an OurCrowd member as an accredited investor, visit www.ourcrowd.com and click Join.
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