Development Bank of Japan commits to Proterra Food Fund 3

The investment is the first from a Japanese LP into Proterra’s third Food Fund, which is focused on investments in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Development Bank of Japan has made a commitment of an undisclosed size to Proterra Asia’s third Food Fund, according to a statement from the Japanese institution.

Proterra Asia Food Fund 3 was launched in 2019. It is primarily focused on the Asia-Pacific region and targets the food and agribusiness sectors in emerging markets.

The fund had secured $35.7 million according to its most recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2020.

The commitment from DBJ is the Japanese bank’s first investment with Proterra and the first commitment from a Japanese investor to the Proterra fund.

While the size of the commitment was not made public, a source told Agri Investor that it was an “eight-digit” US dollar investment.

When asked to explain what had attracted it to Proterra’s strategy, DBJ’s Takumi Sato referred back to and reiterated the bank’s published statement: “Through its investment in the fund, DBJ intends to not only stimulate activity in the food and agriculture industries but also to firmly grasp global trends and industry best practices in food transition, fostering further contributions to the industry’s next phase of growth.”

DBJ could not disclose the size of its commitment and Proterra Asia declined to comment.

Food Fund 3 follows on from Food Fund 2, which closed in 2015 on $700 million, the first fund Proterra raised after spinning out from Black River Asset Management, a wholly owned, independently managed subsidiary of Cargill. The first Food Fund closed on $455 million in 2011.

Proterra Asia managing director Tai Lin told Agri Investor earlier this year that the firm targets “big markets with high growth.”

“Many of the geographies we target are really big markets, but they are also often less developed markets compared with the US, Europe or Australia. So, in order for us to mitigate risk on the ground, we like the idea of owning the majority, or to be the biggest investor, and to have our own team members on the boards of those companies,” he said.

“Greater China and the larger countries in Southeast Asia will continue to be the main consumers and the main providers of incremental growth consumption not just in Asia, but the whole world. At the same time, you see consumer behavior changing so fast that the whole supply chain needs to adapt, which we see as an opportunity.”

Separately, DBJ confirmed on September 16 that it made a commitment of an undisclosed size to Timberland Investment Resources Europe‘s second forestry fund. The vehicle closed on $200 million in July.