Flora Ventures hits $50m first close on $80m agtech fund

The firm will invest in early-stage start-ups in Israel and Europe.

Flora Ventures has launched an $80 million agtech vehicle and simultaneously announced the fund has reached a $50 million first close.

The Israeli venture capital firm’s vehicle will invest in early-stage Israeli and European start-ups that are developing solutions that can contribute to building a healthier, more sustainable and resilient food system.

The vehicle has been backed by Israeli insurance and financial company Harel Group, plant nutrition and fertilizer specialist Haifa Group, family offices and Sadot Kibbutzim, a co-op bringing together more than 185 Kibbutzim.

“Working for leading food multinationals, as well as co-founding one of the industry’s most successful corporate venture capital and incubation initiatives in Mondelēz, taught me the value of having design partners early on,” said Flora Ventures co-founder Gil Horsky.

“That’s why we are excited that Flora can provide our start-ups proprietary access to Haifa Group, Sadot Kibbutzim and Harel Group, which are among the most innovative and agile design partners in the industry.”

Flora Ventures said it secured its first close commitments “in just four months by identifying an opportunity to fill technology gaps such as food security, digitization, sustainable agriculture, and food as medicine.”

“I’ve been fortunate in my career to lead important VC deals in the retail-tech, fintech and digital transformation sectors, which enables me to reapply proven technologies and business models to the agrifood industry where it is greatly needed,” said Esther Barak-Landes, managing general partner and co-founder of Flora Ventures.

“I am excited to bring my skills to finding and fueling start-ups from Israel and Europe that are good for people and kind to the planet, while helping to build the next generation of agrifood unicorns.”