Ag Tech

US investor launches agtech fund, Vic headquarters

Grain Central, July 18, 2022

SVG founder John Hartnett with Victorian Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas. Photo: Tim Pallas

INTERNATIONAL agrifood innovation investor, SVG Ventures, has announced it will establish a headquarters in Melbourne and launch a $50-million venture fund to facilitate the growth of Australia and New Zealand’s agtech sector.

Based in Silicon Valley in California, the US company invests in early and growth-stage agtech and foodtech companies, providing corporate-innovation services that connect entrepreneurs to established companies and manage accelerator programs.

SVG has built a community of over 6000 start-ups from 100 countries and works with entrepreneurs, investors and Fortune 500 corporations to advance the food and agriculture industries through innovation.

SVG chief executive officer and founder John Hartnett said Melbourne will provide the ideal location to accelerate Australian and New Zealand agtech firms.

“We are excited to embark on our ANZ journey from Victoria – a large agricultural market, home to world-leading research organisations and a central location to capture agtech success,” Mr Hartnett said.

As part of the Melbourne headquarters, Australian agtech start-ups will have access to SVG’s THRIVE Accelerator Program, Corporate Innovation Program and other development programs and events.

In addition, the new THRIVE Australia Venture Fund will also enable further investment in the industry.

SVG also plans to partner with La Trobe University’s Australian Food Innovation Centre (AFIC).

Melbourne will be home to the new annual THRIVE Australia Innovation and Investment Summit that will bring together some of the world’s brightest minds, thought leaders and entrepreneurs, showcasing creative and innovative solutions to advance the agtech sector.

Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas was in Silicon Valley at the weekend to seal the establishment of the SVG THRIVE Australia Venture and Innovation Platform.

“This is a significant vote of confidence in Victorian agtech and the payoff will be in jobs now and in the future,” Mr Pallas said.

“It will provide a major boost for the innovators developing new products and processes to transform agriculture in Victoria and around the world.”

This is not SVG’s first entry into the Australian market.

In 2020 the company launched a partnership with CSIRO and the Victorian Government which was accompanied by the THRIVE Australia challenge, a live pitch event for agtech startups and research projects.

Precision agriculture application, Platfarm, online beekeeping activity tracker tool, HiveKeepers, and early animal disease detection system, DiagamiRs, won the challenge.

Source: Victorian Government

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