Pontifax Agtech reaches second close – exclusive

The fund has raised $50m to $60m of its $150m target.

The Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund (Pontifax Agtech) has reached its second close, Agri Investor has learned.

The fund has raised $50 million to $60 million of its $150 million target, with commitments from two North American institutional investors, including a large insurance company and a fund of funds, sources familiar with the fund said.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the investment vehicle is the first agtech and fifth life-sciences fund of Israeli life-sciences investor Pontifax.

The 10-year fund typically invests between $10 million and $15 million into its portfolio companies over the course of a three to seven year holding and is understood to be targeting net internal rates of return in excess of 30 percent.

The fund has made five total investments to date, with roughly $4 million to $6 million invested in each so far. That included a recent $6 million investment into Florida-based Anuvia Plant Nutrients, part of that fertilizer company’s recent $23 million capital raise.

Additional portfolio companies include AgBiome, Caribou Biosciences, Blue River Technology and Conservis, reflecting the fund’s focus on life sciences, nutrition, information tech, precision farming and the agriculture supply chain.

Pontifax Agtech declined to comment.