Are you an investor keen to invest in innovative Food companies?

Posted on: 15/07/2020

These companies are working towards net-zero production systems by 2040.

Investors can apply to partner with Innovate UK to align their investment alongside grant funding coming from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Transforming Food Production Programme.

The first stage of this programme is to create a ‘pool’ of lead investor partners. We expect that investors will invest directly or lead syndicates to make investments aligned with Innovate UK grants.

To join as an investor partner, you must be an equity provider with the potential to act as lead investor in Series A investments (the first venture capital funding for a start-up). The investments are expected to range between £1m and £5m.
To find out more about becoming an Investor Partner and the application process, join our Information Event on 6 August.

What kind of investors are we looking for?

We’re looking for a mix of established Agri-tech investors alongside Food-tech, Social and Impact investors from the UK and overseas.

Once you’ve been accepted onto the programme, you don’t need to commit to investing at this stage. You only need to commit to review and consider project proposals from SMEs with the potential to invest.

We are particularly interested in investors who:

  • are willing to act as lead investor in Series A investments likely to require additional co-investment from within or from outside the pool being formed
  • are prepared to deploy Series A financing with a patient and long-term view
  • can add other commercial acumen to companies, such as leadership, market access, skills or resources
  • can follow their investment and potentially provide more financing when required
  • can commit to helping the companies with international aspirations to grow and scale-up
  • have relevant sector or technology-specific expertise or social impact priorities around resilient and environmentally sustainable food production

What’s the aim of this programme?

The aim of this Programme is to encourage investment in innovative companies with developed technologies that are working towards net-zero emission productive food systems.

The Transforming Food Production Series A Investor Partnership Programme is made of two stages:

  • The investor partner selection –  We’ll collate and assess applications from investors to form an investor pool. This stage will be covered during the information event on 6 August.
  • The SME selection – SMEs will submit project applications for grant support with a clear alignment for private investment. This stage will be launched in November 2020 and an information event will be held then.

What will be expected of investors?

The Investor Partner will be required to invest into the SME at a level at least twice of the Innovate UK grant. The investment should provide suitable capital to the SME, alongside the grant, to complete its project and to enable it to grow and scale.

Projects must start no later than 1 October 2021. Projects must have a duration of 18 months. Total eligible project costs submitted by the SME must be between £1m- £3m. Innovate UK will provide up to 45% grant (Innovate UK grant) for eligible costs.

The investment can be direct equity investment or convertible loans from;

  • a single investor partner
  • a lead investor partner syndicating with other investors from within or outside of the pool

Potential investor partners will be required to demonstrate they have the capability, capacity and investment appetite to fund companies seeking to align funding with the objectives of ISCF Transforming Food Production. This broadly includes investing in companies with a focus on the development of precision solutions and systems that will make a significant step towards net-zero emissions for food production, while also improving the productivity of the agricultural sector. Investor partners will also be required to demonstrate that they are of good financial standing.

Key dates:

Competition opens: 10 August 2020
Online Information Event: 06 August 2020
Competition closes: 09 September 2020
Applicants notified: 10 October 2020

If you’re interested in taking part in this program as an investor, click
here to sign-up for our upcoming Information Event.

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