I’ve posted several times before about the importance of connected capital for New Zealand’s emerging agritech sector. Like many areas of the country’s tech sector, access to growth capital can be a major challenge.
Last Thursday, at Agritech Unleashed, Arama Kukutai, co-founder & Managing Director of Finistere Ventures, announced that his firm planned to open up an office in Palmerston North to help identify new and manage existing New Zealand agritech investments. The office is be led by Dean Tilyard, founder of the Sprout Accelerator.
It was a hugely important announcement. To understand that, you need to also understand some of the major global investors who were in the room when Arama made the announcement. They included:
- Mathew Pryor, Partner at Agthentic
- Mary Dimou, Business Development Director, Canopy Rivers
- Kirk Belsby, Partner at Finistere Ventures
- Michael Lavin, Managing Director at Germin8
- Alexey Rostapshov, Global Head of Digital Innovation, John Deere
- Richard O’Gorman, Director, Rabobank Food & Agriculture Innovation Fund
- Craig Boshier, General Manager, Yamaha Motor Ventures
Several of these funds have already invested into New Zealand agritech companies. Some are part of Farm2050, the global collective of venture funds. Others were in New Zealand to get a better understanding of the landscape for future investment into the sector.
I had joined the delegation in Auckland when they arrived on Tuesday and then co-hosted the delegation with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) on Friday for a day’s workshop in Rotorua.
For me, Arama’s announcement on Thursday was just the start. Interest in New Zealand’s agritech sector is growing rapidly and Agritech New Zealand has been doing all it can to raise the visibility of the sector to offshore investors. Over the coming weeks, I expect details to be announced about significant additional venture funding capacity for our growth stage agritech companies.
It’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in New Zealand’s agritech sector. Check out our News section as we release details of these upcoming announcements.