Tenacious Ventures invests in natural capital software Cecil

The Australian agtech investor invested alongside Macdoch Ventures and Global Founders Capital in nature-based solutions provider Cecil.

Agtech-focused venture capital firm Tenacious Ventures has made the 10th investment from its inaugural fund, leading a $1.6 million pre-seed round for natural capital software platform Cecil.

Investing alongside Tenacious Ventures was Macdoch Ventures (which is also an LP in Tenacious’ fund) and Global Founders Capital. Tenacious Ventures co-founder and partner Sarah Nolet will join Cecil’s board.

Cecil, co-founded by Alex Logan and Rory Oxenham, soft-launched in June 2021 and is already home to more than 1,500 carbon farming and natural capital projects covering more than one million ha of land in Australia, the UK and Germany.

The firm provides a management platform for landowners, project developers, investors, and auditors to standardize and digitize workflows and reporting around natural capital projects, aiming to improve efficiency and transparency when managing these types of schemes.

“Moving forward, Cecil will be uniquely positioned to serve as an independent, third-party data and insights source that enables the demand side of natural capital markets to manage their assets at scale. As a platform to manage nature-based solutions projects that sell into different marketplaces, Cecil can provide project- and portfolio-level insights and tools to investors looking to build and manage robust, diverse portfolios for natural capital assets,” Tenacious Ventures said in a statement about its investment in Cecil.

One of the clients Cecil already works with is Wilmot Cattle Company, which is owned by family office investor Macdoch Group, parent company of Macdoch Ventures.

Macdoch is also an investor in Impact Ag Partners, which manages Wilmot Cattle Company’s properties. Impact Ag Partners last year sold approximately A$500,000 ($388,000; €322,000) of carbon credits derived from Wilmot’s properties to Microsoft, in a deal brokered by US firm Regen Network.

Wilmot Cattle Company last week acquired the 2,575 ha Paradise Creek Station in New South Wales, announcing plans to expand its regenerative farming practices to the properties, with carbon credits generation a potential “co-benefit” of that approach, the firm said.

Tenacious Ventures’ first fund is now around 60 percent deployed, Nolet said. The firm held a final close for the vehicle on A$35 million in mid-2021, surpassing its initial fundraising target of A$30 million and including cornerstone commitments of A$8 million each from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Grok Ventures.

Nolet said Tenacious had not come to any decisions on the timing or size of a potential successor fundraise yet.

Among Tenacious’ other investments are: waste management start-up Goterra; autonomous agricultural vehicle platform SwarmFarm Robotics; US-based carbon marketplace Nori; cellular agriculture company Vow; digital crop protection platform RapidAIM; sustainable protein company Nowadays; crop management and analytics firm Regrow; and blockchain fintech firm Geora.