GreenSoil Investments, an Israeli investment house, is raising a new venture capital fund to invest into food and agriculture technology and targeting up to $70 million.
The third food and agri-focused fund from GreenSoil, it is expected to hold a first close on around $20 million in September and a final closing in around 12 months time, according to Gideon Soesman, managing partner and co-founder of Greensoil.
The fund will invest equally in Israel and the Netherlands, which is a new market the company is exploring.
So far Fund III has received investment interest from the Dutch government and some provinces. The second round of fundraising will target Greensoil’s existing investors and some family offices in Europe and the US, Soesman told Agri Investor.
GreenSoil opened an office in Amsterdam a couple of months ago with two members of staff . “The reason why we chose Amsterdam is that the Netherlands is a place where there are a lot of innovations in this space, but there are no funds there,” said Soesman. “In the US you have funds like Finistere and Flagship Ventures making big investments but in Europe there is almost nothing [for agri and food technology firms]. It’s difficult for companies with exciting innovations to find appropriate funding and that’s where we come in.”
Fewers investors also means less competition in the field, he added. “We will be able to pick the best companies in a place like the Netherlands which is known for its enormous achievement in innovation in food and ag.”
In late 2011 and 2013, GreenSoil Agro & Food Funds I and II closed on $17 million and $15 million in 2011 and 2013 respectively. They are only invested in Israel.
GreenSoil currently has five active investments in its food and agri portfolio and is expecting to close its sixth deal with an Israeli agtech company by the end of June, the last new investment for the funds. They will only invest in follow-on top-up deals in the existing portfolio companies from here on, according to Soesman.
An average holding period of a GreenSoil portfolio company is five to eight years and its agri and food funds mature after nine to 12 years, according to Soesman.