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Agri-Food Tech Investments: Unlocking the Potential Beyond Profits

  • Written by Malcolm Nutt, Partner, Cultiv8 Funds Management

Investing in Agri-Food Tech goes beyond financial gain; it is an opportunity to support visionaries who are reshaping an industry and contributing to a more sustainable and food-secure future.

While Australia's Agri-Food Tech market is still in its early stages, it is experiencing remarkable growth, with over 2500 Agri-Food Tech enterprises1 across the country. This growth is fuelled by increasing pressures on governments, corporations, and producers to address their climate impact and maintain their social license to operate. As a result, the sector is experiencing an unprecedented surge of investment and a flurry of activity. Over the past decade, global private funding has increased by more than twelve-fold2, with the APAC region alone attracting nearly $56 billion3 in investments into Agri-Food Tech during this period. Consequently, a diverse group of passionate entrepreneurs, armed with technical expertise, is converging to tackle some of our most pressing challenges.

The world finds itself at a significant juncture, where interconnected challenges such as food security, labour shortages, supply chain complexities and environmental challenges, have put a focus on the food system and climate resilience. In this landscape, Agri-Food Tech has emerged as a beacon of hope, offering the potential to revolutionise how we produce, distribute, and consume food. This innovative crossroads has sparked a surge in passionate entrepreneurs, driven by the desire to make a meaningful impact. Australia, poised in a prime position, holds the potential to lead this transformative charge.

Agri-Food Tech encompasses a diverse array of technological advancements, harnessing cutting-edge innovations like artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, and precision agriculture. These innovations are strategically deployed across the entire food value chain, resulting in improved efficiency, reduced waste, and heightened sustainability. From farm to fork, these transformative technologies hold the potential to significantly enhance agricultural productivity, mitigate environmental impact, and elevate the quality of our food. With a growing global population driving demand for life-sustaining produce, it becomes our collective responsibility to foster a food ecosystem that ensures a continuous supply for present and future generations.

As I engage in conversations around the dinner table, it is inspiring to see how the younger generations comprehend and actively participate in discussions on climate impact. From drones that reforest areas to Wi-Fi connectivity on farms, from honey created without bees to addressing the issue of methane emissions from cows, their enthusiasm reflects the urgency to address climate change and the vital role agriculture plays in this discourse.

This enthusiasm carried into the ecosystem, and I am continually amazed by the diverse backgrounds of start-up founders entering the sector. Experts from medicine, institutional finance, logistics, consulting, cybersecurity, and academia are all flocking to Agri-Food Tech. The beauty of this diverse convergence lies in the shared goal of supporting the Agri-Food system for the betterment of our environment and humanity. Collaboration and knowledge sharing among these multifaceted individuals unlocks vast potential. What is equally surprising is the diversity of age among the future leaders of Agri-Food Tech. While we expect younger generations to be at the forefront, there is a significant cohort of middle-aged founders—Gen X and Boomers—leveraging their decades of expertise to make a meaningful difference and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

This blend of passion and experience drives us, as Agri-Food Tech investors, to provide these inspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to thrive and bring their world-changing ideas to life. Through strategic capital deployment, we are delighted to contribute to the sector and are thrilled about the potential impact Australia and this diverse group of technology leaders can have on our collective future. It is time to rally behind these courageous individuals with capital and government support, enabling them to drive significant change on a global scale.

This material has been prepared by Cultiv8 Funds Management (ABN 45 659 433 593 AFSL [545579]) (Cultiv8), the investment manager of the Cultiv8 Fund (Fund), for wholesale investors only. The Fund (also referred to as Cultiv8 Agriculture and Food Technology Fund), consists of Cultiv8 Fund, LP ILP 2100046 (Partnership) and one or more further Australian unit trusts (each a Trust, and together with the Partnership, the Fund).

Fidante Partners Limited ABN 94 002 835 592 AFSL 234668 (Fidante) is a member of the Challenger Limited group of companies (Challenger Group) and is the trustee of the Trust, and the issuer of units in the Trust. Other than information which is identified as sourced from Fidante in relation to the Trust, Fidante is not responsible for the information in this material, including any statements of opinion.

It is general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Investors should consider whether the information is suitable to their circumstances. The Information Memorandum for the Fund (available by contacting bdm@fidante.com.au) should be considered before making an investment decision. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of reliance on this information. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

1 Australian Trade and Investment Commission- Agrifood tech 2022

2 AgFunder Global AgriFoodTech Investment Report 2023

3 AgFunder Asia-Pacific AgriFoodTech Investment Report 2022

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