Israeli technology and innovation focused impact investment firm Impact First Investments (IFI) has invested in Catalyst AgTech, a company developing technology to minimise the environmental impact of agrochemical products.
The funding will be used to expand the company’s research and development and accelerate its commercialisation. “Our solutions present a completely new approach to preventing agrochemical contamination, enabling the use of highly efficient, proven agrochemical while significantly reducing their environmental impact.”
The Israeli investment firm attracts capital from local investors who have experience in investing in technology as well as North American high net worth individuals, Yali Harari, a general partner at the firm, told Agri Investor. Harari said the firm has also received interest from foundations in North America.
The average holding period of a portfolio company is around three to five years for loans and longer for equity investments. “As an impact investment company, we really want to make sure our [portfolio] companies are growing even if it takes longer for their social solutions to show significant global impact, and we want to make sure they are working with the right investors and global partners,” she said.
Catalyst’s products are catalysts that can be paired with more than 40 percent of active agrochemical ingredients, including major pesticides and herbicides, to reduce the chemical impact on the environment. The company aims “solve the conflict between the growing demand for more essential pesticides and the need to prevent any negative impact on the environment”, reads the website. “Our solution leads to billions of dollars in more business while alleviating environmental contamination.”
IFI is a member of Pitango Community Ventures, Israel’s leading venture capital fund with over $1.6 billion under management and investments in over 180 companies.
“As the need for technologies that enable farmers to continue using effective, field-proven products in a way that minimises the negative impact on the environment continues to increase, demand for products such as those being developed by Catalyst Agtech will dramatically rise,” said Cecile Blilious, co-founder and managing partner of IFI, in a statement.