The Yield Lab Europe announces €50 million fund for agrifood startups in Europe

The Yield Lab, Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography, Copyright 2021

Today The Yield Lab Europe has announced almost €50 million at second close for its sustainable agrifood tech venture capital fund, investing in seed to Series A stage companies in Ireland and Europe, with the addition of new investors including the European Investment Fund through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), Invest-NL, Allied Irish Banks plc and new family office investors.

The Yield Lab Europe is also expanding into the Netherlands, opening a Dutch office as part of a new partnership with StartLife, the agrifood tech hub and accelerator for Wageningen University & Research, a globally recognised leader in agrifood tech innovation and sustainability.  The Yield Lab Europe is the investor-in-residence with StartLife and will be actively investing in Dutch start-ups.

The Irish fund has completed seven investments to date, including Irish startups ApisProtect (protecting honey bees and biodiversity), MicroGen Biotech (soil health), Micron Agritech (livestock parasite testing) and Equimetrics (animal health monitoring), along with European startups N2 Applied (biogenic methane reduction/decarbonisation of livestock), Kaffe Bueno (coffee upcycling) and RootWave (sustainable weed control).

The fund is focused on the dual objectives of strong financial returns and environmental impact. It invests in technologies that improve the environmental and carbon footprint of the food and agriculture industries, to support the vision and implementation of the European Green Deal and the European Commission’s ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’. The fund has mapped over 2,000 agrifood tech startups in Europe.

The fund is also part of The Yield Lab global network, with sister funds in the US, Latin America and Asia Pacific. This provides start-ups with access to an unparalleled network to enable them to scale and commercialise internationally.

Commenting on the close, Chairman Paul Finnerty said: “We believe that zero-carbon agriculture and food production is a tremendous opportunity and can be achieved by 2040. We have invested and will continue to invest in technologies to enable this transition. We look forward to investing in the innovation that positions Irish agriculture as being properly viewed as part of the climate solution, and not the problem.”

Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund said: “Scaling up world-class research to advance agricultural technology, improve production, biodiversity and animal health, and adapt to a changing climate is crucial for agriculture in Ireland and Europe. The European Investment Fund is pleased to support Yield Lab Europe’s expansion into Europe and increase venture capital backing for agricultural innovation.”