Tenacious Ventures receives A$16 million investment boost
19 Nov 2019
Australian agrifood tech venture capital fund Tenacious Ventures has
received a A$16 million injection that will strengthen its ability to
invest in startups developing innovative agtech.
investment comes from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which invests in
clean energy projects on behalf of the Australian Government; and Grok
Ventures, the private investment firm of Atlassian co-founder Mike
Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie.
Tenacious Ventures – Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech venture
capital firm – is investing up to A$30 million in early-stage agrifood tech
‘Agriculture is a key industry in Australia and across the world, with
formidable challenges to overcome,’ says Sarah Nolet, co-founder of
Tenacious Ventures and CEO of agrifood tech advisory firm AgThentic. ‘We’re
very pleased to have the CEFC and Grok on board, joining other impact,
agriculture and technology investors who see the importance and potential
of investing in agrifood tech.’
Nearly 400 agrifood tech companies have been created in Australia in the
last three years. These companies have developed innovations such as new
plant science, supply chain systems and food waste reduction technologies
that are helping growers and producers lift farm efficiency and yields
while cutting inputs and emissions.
‘We are experts in efficient, climate-adaptive food production – Australian
farmers reduced the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of agriculture by
63% between 1996 and 2016,’
Matthew Pryor, co-founder of Tenacious Ventures and agrifood tech startup Observant
(acquired by Jain Irrigation in 2017).
‘But more needs to be done to develop and export agricultural technology
that improves the efficiency of production on a global scale.’
The agricultural sector is a significant and growing contributor to global
emissions. The sector is the world's largest source of non-CO2
emissions, with about 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The broader
food system – including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging,
transport and consumption – is estimated to represent up to 30% of global
‘The agricultural sector poses a demanding climate change challenge: how to
produce more food, more efficiently, for a growing population amid a more
extreme climate, while also reducing greenhouse gas intensity and
emissions,’ says Ian Learmonth, CEO, Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
‘As a major food exporter Australia has an opportunity to be at the
forefront of innovative technology solutions that can address these
‘With this investment, the CEFC is supporting an exciting Australian
industry of the future with the potential to make a meaningful contribution
to lowering global emissions while supporting our agriculture sector.’
‘Innovation in agriculture is desperately needed across the world to make
our planet more sustainable,’ adds Cannon-Brookes. ‘It’s fantastic to see
the CEFC investing in agrifood tech through this commitment to Tenacious
Ventures. Kick-starting this industry in Australia will take guts and
expertise, and the CEFC brings both.
‘There's no doubt that new ideas in agriculture will play a massive role in
reducing carbon emissions, while also delivering return on investment. The
upside for Australia’s economy is also huge.
‘Sarah and Matt have a solid track record of finding those new ideas, and
then making them work. I can't wait to see the innovation in food tech and
agriculture that they deliver.’
is Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech venture capital firm. Founded
by Sarah Nolet and Matthew Pryor, the firm invests in high-growth
technology companies improving the productivity, efficiency and
sustainability of agricultural production.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is responsible for investing A$10 billion in clean energy projects
on behalf of the Australian Government. The CEFC helps lower Australia’s
carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and
low emissions technologies. The CEFC also supports innovative startup
companies through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, from which the
Tenacious Ventures investment was made.
is the private investment office of Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes. Grok
provides long-term, focused, patient capital to fast-growing
how Australia is shaping the future of food and agriculture.
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