Avrio invests C$15m across three companies

The acquisitions, which Avrio describes as food-tech plays, bring the number of portfolio companies in the Canadian VC’s C$108m third fund up to four.

Agtech venture capital firm Avrio Capital has deployed C$15 million ($11.5 million, €10.2 million) across three Canadian food and agribusiness companies.

The acquisitions brings the number of portfolio companies in the Canadian VC’s third fund up to four, since the fund invested in sustainable chemicals company BioAmber in June 2014.

The three new companies fall across various points on the agri value chain: Intelia Technologies makes swine and poultry production control and data systems, Alasko is a frozen fruits and vegetables supplier while Cadcan markets gluten-free and low-calorie snack-food brand CheeCha Puffs.

Avrio described the investments in Alasco and Cadcan as food-tech plays, citing Alasko’s focus on advancing food preservation technology and Cadcan’s work on health-conscious and gluten free food production technology.

“Optimising supply chains, minimising food waste and enhancing overall preservation and quality of food is crucial in addressing global food security issues. Alasko’s market leadership position in addressing these global trends was very attractive,” said Steven Leakos, managing director at Avrio.

In April, Avrio senior managing director Aki Georgacacos told Agri Investor the firm was on the verge of multiple acquisitions.

“We’re looking at several deals across multiple sub-sectors. With a final close behind us, we are now fully in investment mode,” he told Agri Investor in April.

Avrio’s Fund III closed on C$108 million in February, short of its C$125 million target. Investors include Farm Credit Canada, HarbourVest Partners and Export Development Canada, according to PEI Research & Analytics. The firm’s $91 million Fund II is fully deployed, but maintains some capacity for follow-on investments. Fund I closed on $75 million in 2006. The firm has deployed more than C$200 million across 50 portfolio companies, according to its website.