California-based global agro-tech venture capital fund Finistere Ventures today announced its recruitment of two Israeli partners for the purpose of finding investment opportunities in Israel. The partners, Gil Meron (Meirovich) and Eyal Rosenthal, will reinforce Finistere's presence in Israel, and according to Finistere, will work together with the fund's other portfolio companies to leverage their business in Israel, while at the same time leveraging the agro-tech entrepreneurship spotted here overseas.
"As the process of growing, producing, marketing, and consuming food all over the world develops, the time has come for an unprecedented change in the agricultural industry. We regard Israel as a center of agro-tech excellence," Finistere founding partner Arama Kututai stated in the fund's announcement.
Meron was formerly a general partner in the Yarden investment group, in which he led a number of clean-tech and agro-tech investments ("we worked under the radar," Meron says). Rosenthal is a managing director in the Infinity investment group.
Meron says that Finistere has two funds, and that the second fund, whose business in Israel he and Rosenthal will help expand, totals $150 million.
"The mandate of where to invest is worldwide, but most of the investments are in North America," he explains. Meron adds that the fund has already made an investment in Israel in a company named CropX, which has developed smart irrigation systems, and has raised $11 million to date. "We'll soon announce another Israeli investment, and I hope we make at least one investment a year in Israel."
The fund also recently founded the Radicle accelerator in order to support younger companies, mainly at the seed stage. This accelerator is not Israeli, but one partner in it is Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd. "We'll also invest in Israel through Radicle," Meron says, emphasizing that the fund itself will focus on existing companies, while Radicle is likely to invest in research projects, such as those involving the Agricultural Research Organization Volcani Center. "I hope that we make an Israeli investment this year," he adds.
Finistere works in close coordination with major agro-tech and life science firms, such as Agrium, Bayer, DuPont, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and even Pepsico.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on April 26, 2017
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