AcreTrader adds timberland investments to its platform – exclusive

The investment platform will pursue US assets worth between $2m and $20m as it provides a forestry investment access point to accredited individual investors.

Online farmland investment platform AcreTrader has added timberland investments to its list of offerings, as it expands beyond farmland and land investment opportunities.

The firm recruited Mark Foley, former Domain Timber Advisors chief investment officer, as director of timber acquisitions in January to lead the new business division.

The investment platform launched AcrePro in November 2021, which is a brokering service for whole parcels of land, which can include farmland, bare land and some forestry assets.

This differs from AcreTrader’s offering as it provides access to revenue generating farmland assets – and now timberland assets – which are managed by the business and wholly owned by investors through a limited liability company.

Foley said one of the reasons he was drawn to his new role was the opportunity to bring farmland and timberland assets “to a whole set of investors who have never been served, or have the ability to get into this asset class,” Foley told Agri Investor.

“I’m doing what I’ve been doing historically on the institutional side, but now I’m doing it for the accredited investor,” he added.

The timberland offering will target accredited individual investors, corporates, family offices and other groups “who may not have the financial wherewithal to invest in, for example, a commingled fund or a separate account offered through the traditional TIMO [timber investment management organization] avenue,” explained Foley.

Timberland investments will focus on opportunities in the US at first, he confirmed, but the company is open to evaluating opportunities in other geographies in future.

AcreTrader will target forestry assets within the $2 million to $20 million range, with minimum investment thresholds ranging from between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the deal.

Foley said that timberland investors typically seek total returns of between 6 percent and 8 percent, which is in line with what has historically been offered at the institutional level.

AcreTrader expanded its $40 million Series B secured in January 2022 to more than $60 million in March following a $20 million investment from venture capital firm Drive Capital.

The platform deployed more than $160 million across the whole of 2021, which included its first non-US deal in October, when it acquired Burnett River Citrus Orchards – an aggregation of three citrus farms in Queensland, Australia.

AcreTrader has more than $300 million in assets under management, the firm told Agri Investor.