What's driving the Agri-tech investment boom?

May 19, 08:00 AM

Investment in European Agtech was expected to double to £2.3bn last year, what is causing such a flurry of activity in the space, and why are investors so drawn to investment in European Agtech?

Advice for start-ups

Join our panel including Five Seasons Ventures, Rockstart, Yield Lab Europe, and Food For Thought as we investigate the trends that are driving the agri-tech investment boom. What’s the current landscape for agtech and food tech, what are the challenges and common mistakes that start-ups make when seeking investment, and what advice do they have for start-ups looking to break into the space.

It’s a fascinating look into the world of investment in agtech, and a great way for young businesses to get insight into what investors want.

About our panel

Nicky Deasy, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Yield Lab Europe

Nicky Deasy oversees the day to day operations. Previously she ran Alta Corporate Finance, primarily advising early stage MedTech companies to raise venture capital, as well as other M&A advice. She was Director of Corporate Finance with EY, and Associate Director with KPMG Corporate Finance.

Mark Durno, Managing Partner Agritech, Rockstart

Mark is an entrepreneur with a focus on the agrifood industry. He grew up farming 350 ha of mixed production (arable/dairy/beef) in Scotland. As a member of the startup team of UrbanFarmers, a first-mover European vertical farming company, he led the expansion of the company from Switzerland to The Netherlands, and was part of growing the team from 3 to ~30 people. In his role as Managing Partner at Rockstart AgriFood, he is a founding partner of the fund and oversees the fund management between Denmark and The Netherlands. Mark is a qualified Scottish lawyer (LLB (Hons), PG Dip. LP) and holds an Executive MBA (cum laude & Student Award 2016) from Rotterdam School of Management.

Ivan Farneti, Five Seasons Ventures

Ivan has been an active venture capital investor for the last 20 years and he is the co-founding Partner of Five Seasons Ventures, the first European venture fund fully focused on Foodtech. He is passionate about product and technology innovation aimed at solving big challenges in the food industry: from alternative sources of proteins, to functional foods, from new models of food distribution to the reduction of food waste. At Five Seasons he invested in gene editing company Tropic Biosciences, pet nutrition company Butternut Box and three more companies yet to be announced.

His experience from previous venture funds in London, includes structuring venture investments, organisational and strategy development, setting up governance for growth and planning for successful exits. He was an early stage investor in Everbridge, Inc. (Nasdaq: EVBG), Tridion BV (acquired by SDL Plc), Gomez, Inc. (acquired by Compuware), Plazes AG (acquired by Nokia), among others.

Christine Gould, Founder & CEO, Food For Thought

Christine has dedicated her career to making ag innovation more open and collaborative. She created Thought For Food to inspire young people to get involved in developing the solutions their future depends on. Christine holds an MPA in Science & Technology Policy from Columbia University. She sits on the Board of Young Professionals in Ag Development and is a Founding Member of the Ashoka Changemakers League of Intrapreneurs