Yield Lab Europe, an Irish-based venture capital accelerator, has announced its latest €21m investment fund for start-ups in agritech.
With nine companies already on its portfolio, Yield Lab Europe is now seeking applications for its 2020 agritech fund worth €21m. The group invests in early-stage, deep-tech companies with technologies to improve the carbon footprint and the broader environmental footprint of the agrifood industry, whilst improving the profitability of the industry.
Five of those who are successful in applying will initially receive €100,000, with a larger follow-on fund of up to €2m being made available to lead funding rounds through to Series A. In addition, Yield Lab Europe said it will provide access to individualised mentoring from industry experts and access to a global list of corporates and investors.
Among its previous success stories is Cork-based Apis Protect. The bee-monitoring platform led by Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy last year announced a partnership with the European Space Agency to bring its mission to save bee populations ‘into space’.
Threat of climate change
Yield Lab Europe has also invested in Meath-based insect farm Hexafly, which uses black soldier flies to upcycle brewing waste into high-value proteins, oils and natural fertilisers; as well as MicroGen Biotech, which uses technology that prevents the uptake of toxic heavy metals into plants and our food.
Last May, the Carlow-based company raised €3.4m in a funding round to expand production and invest in new technology. The round was led by Kansas-based Fulcrum Global Capital, with participation from Yield Lab Europe and Enterprise Ireland.
Co-founder and managing partner, Nicky Deasy said: “Climate change is the single biggest threat to mankind. Agriculture remains the single largest contributor to Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 34pc.
“At the Yield Lab Europe, we are backing the best technologies to drive Ireland’s agricultural system towards carbon neutral status over the next 10 years.”