Avrio reinvents as RIO Partners raises $77.5M anchored by FCC

Rio Partners, a new venture capital investment firm and a successor to Aviro Capital, has held an initial close for its first fund, RIO Investment Partners, with $77.5 million in committed capital anchored by Farm Credit Canada (FCC). RIO is targeting $150 million of total committed capital.

Avrio Capital evolved from FCC Ventures, a venture capital fund wholly owned by FCC. Avrio Capital has since raised three equity funds, Avrio Fund I-III, with anchoring commitments from FCC (67%, 55%, and 46% respectively). FCC also holds a minority voting interest in Avrio Capital.

In addition to equity fund limited partnerships, Avrio Capital also manages Aviro Subordinated Debt Fund I and II on behalf of FCC.

Rio Partners is led by co-founder & Managing Partner, Jean-François Huc (formerly VP at Greenfield Global and CEO of BioAmber) and Aki Georgacacos (co-founder and Managing Director of Avrio Capital). They are joined by team members from Avrio Capital, Steven Leakos (Managing Director) and Jonathan Goodkey (promoted to Principal).

The existing Avrio equity and sub-debt funds will continue to operate under the Avrio name.

RIO will invest in all aspects of the agri-food tech continuum from agricultural productivity to novel protein technologies to healthy foods, seeking todeploy between $3-10 million in dynamic enterprises operating in the continuum.

photo credit: Rio Partners

News Release

RIO Investment Partners Launches New Agri-Food Venture Capital Fund

$150 million fund is the successor to Avrio Capital, with offices in Calgary and Montreal

CALGARY, April 2, 2019 /CNW/ – Rio Investment Partners (“RIO”) is pleased to announce the launch of a new venture capital fund focused on Agri-Food investing across the North American ag-tech and food-tech value chain. RIO invests in growth stage companies operating in the various segments of the agri-food tech continuum and seeking capital of $3 to $10 million to catalyze their expansion strategies. RIO is targeting $150 million of total committed capital and has secured $77.5 million in a first close.

RIO is the successor to Avrio Capital, a global pioneer in agricultural equity investing. RIO has recruited several members of the Avrio team, including Aki Georgacacos (co-founder and Managing Director), Steven Leakos (Managing Director) and Jonathan Goodkey, promoted to Principal in the new fund. Jean Francois Huc, an experienced entrepreneur, joins RIO as a co-founder and Managing Director. The existing Avrio equity and sub-debt funds will continue to operate under the Avrio name.

“The creation of RIO represents a bold vision for agri-food tech venture capital investing. In today’s competitive environment, firms are either growing or shrinking and as a consequence, evolution is essential. As the team considered its future, and notwithstanding the enormous success of the Avrio funds, we saw a unique opportunity to rebrand and establish the foundations of a global agri-food investment vehicle. Our desire to operate as a true platform, to invest more comprehensively in our sector and across a broader territory all pointed towards creating and branding a new fund”, commented co-founder Aki Georgacacos, who is based in the Calgary office. “These fundamental objectives, coupled with our well-established tenants of investing in best-in-class management teams and transformative technologies, underpin RIO’s investment strategy.”

RIO invests in all aspects of the agri-food tech continuum from agricultural productivity to novel protein technologies to healthy foods. This once nascent investment sector has blossomed in recent years as multiple stakeholders, including public and private sources of capital, have converged to tackle major global issues related to sustainability, health and wellness. “The deployment of capital at the intersection of technology and the agri-food value chain has never been more compelling. I am excited to be joining the RIO team as the sector reaches an inflection point and reveals tremendous opportunities to build transformative companies” said co-founder Jean Francois Huc, who is based in the Montreal office.

“We are pleased to be supporting the successor to one of Canada’s longest standing and most successful venture capital franchises,” remarked Rebbecca Clarke, Vice-President and Treasurer at Farm Credit Canada. “Having worked with Aki and other members of the RIO team through Avrio Capital, we are excited to be part of an emerging global platform as RIO continues to develop the Agri-Food space, an area of key strategic importance to Canada and the world.”

About RIO Investment Partners

RIO Partners (“RIO”) is a North American private capital firm focused exclusively on Agri-Food and the Agri-Food technology value chain. RIO invests in growth stage companies seeking equity investment to catalyze expansion strategies. The firm, with offices in Calgary and Montreal, seeks to deploy between $3-10 million in dynamic enterprises operating in verticals across the AgTech/FoodTech continuum. For more information, visit www.riofunds.com

About Farm Credit Canada (FCC)

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $36 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and its role in feeding an ever-growing world. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and agri-food industry. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, our profits are reinvested back into the agriculture and food industry we serve and the communities where our customers and employees live and work while providing an appropriate return to our shareholder.  Visit www.fcc.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and on Twitter @FCCagriculture.

SOURCE Rio Investment Partners

For further information: Media Contact: Randi Lethebe, randi@riofunds.com, (403) 215.5492

Ted Liu

Ted Liu, M.Sc. (Mining, Queen's), MBA (Finance, Toronto), is the Editor of Private Capital Journal, CanadaMetals.ca, TechWire.ca, and the former Editor of Canadian Private Equity. Ted has been passionately tracking Canadian private capital industry since 1992, having most recently served as Research Director for The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

Ted is the architect of CVCA infobase, and is the architect of CPE Media's Financings.ca, Canada's most sophisticated and advanced all private capital and public market financing database.