Venture capital fund established for innovative food companies

The federal crown corporation Export Development Canada has announced a $7.5 million contribution to a venture capital fund that specializes in investing in “innovative” food companies.

Avrio Ventures Ltd. Partnership, a Canadian-based fund, invests in food and agricultural companies “that provide solutions to global challenges in areas of health, wellness and sustainability,” says a July 26 announcement.

EDC communications official Phil Taylor said that the money will be there for Avrio II to use whenever it finds a company that has an attractive agricultural business plan and needs more equity to get off the ground.

The corporation statement about the agriculture-targeted investment suggested it would be aimed at companies in emerging food-use fields — advanced agriculture, organic, bio-products, biotechnology, organic products, food safety systems and functional foods.

“We recognize the competitive advantages Canadian companies have in the space and see many applications in high-growth emerging markets,” EDC official Alison Nankivell said in the announcement statement.

Taylor said the venture capital fund managers can “draw down” the EDC commitment whenever they find a domestic company that is a solid prospect. There is no time limit.

He said EDC will become involved in direct investment if the target company is foreign or multinational.

About the author

explore

Stories from our other publications