Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Dublin, committed a total of €40 million ($47.5 million) to strategies managed by Finistere Ventures.
A spokeswoman for the €8.5 billion sovereign development fund confirmed a partnership with Finistere that will see the establishment of an Ireland-specific strategy, the Ireland AgTech Fund. ISIF has committed €20 million to the agricultural technology strategy, which will invest in startup and early stage agricultural technology companies that can generate significant economic impact in the Irish agriculture and food sectors.
The fund has a "double-bottom-line mandate to invest on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland," said the spokeswoman in an email. The partnership with global agricultural technology venture capital firm Finistere is consistent with that mandate, she said.
"This investment by ISIF complements government strategy set out in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Foodwise 2025 strategy and many years of investment by government in agricultural research and innovation in Ireland," said Michael Creed, the minister for agriculture, food and the marine, in the release.
"We view agriculture and food technology as a significant a high-potential growth area for the Irish economy and have sought out a best-in-class ag-tech fund," said Cathal Fitzgerald, head of food and agricultural investments at the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, also in the release. "The IAF has strong potential to deliver a commercial return on our investment, stimulate the growth of the Irish ag-tech sector at large, and support the commercialization of the state's significant investment in this sector."
ISIF committed a further €20 million to Finistere's global agricultural technology fund, Finistere II. The allocation adds exposure to the fastest growing and highest potential startups in the agricultural technology space around the world, and also to Finistere's network of co-investors and agri-food industry partners.