Data Collective closes in on agtech with Fund III

The technology venture capital fund has raised $125m for Fund III as it narrows its focus on technology applications, away from infrastructure and analytics.

Data Collective Venture Capital, a technology venture capital firm, has closed its third fund on $125 million, its biggest yet.

The closing comes at a time when the firm is focusing more closely on the precision agriculture sector, according to Zachary Bogue, chief executive.

“As our thesis evolves to focus more on the application of big data technology to vertical industries, and away from the infrastructure and analytics layers – areas that have both became crowded – we have seen more value in investing into the precision agriculture sector,” said Bogue.

“Precision agriculture is the trend of the 2010s as the market realises that agriculture is largely managed in an inefficient way and that we are running out of water, fertiliser and so on. Collecting and analysing massive amounts of data about the sector will help drive much-needed efficiency gains.”

Agtech is not new to Data Collective; it led the $10 million Series-A fundraising round for Blue River Technology, the agricultural robotics and software firm in March. It also invested in a $13 million fundraising of PlanetLabs, the space and analytics company that has some application in agriculture, in 2013.

Data Collective has also looked closely at investing into agriculture sensor businesses and the potential of satellite-produced data.

Fund II closed in December 2012 on an undisclosed size, while Fund I, a small seed capital fund now fully deployed, closed in 2010.

SAP Ventures, a fund of venture funds, was an investor in both Fund II and III. Fund III investors are a collection of sovereign wealth funds, charitable trusts, endowments and corporations. The bulk of Fund II is commitments from repeat investors such as SAP that wanted to increase their exposure.