The51 Food and AgTech Fund secures FCC as lead investor

CPE News

CPE News (8.9.2022) – The51 has held an initial close for The51 Food and AgTech Fund (The Fund), a women-led fund investing in science-based technology entrepreneurs innovating from lab to plate. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has signed on as the lead investor of the fund.

The $50 million Fund is led by co-founders Judy Fairburn and Shelley Kuipers, alongside AgTech pioneer Alison Sunstrum and fund Principal Yuan Shi. The fund is a full-stack fund focused on underfunded Canadian businesses in the agriculture, food and aquaculture technology sectors.

photo credit: The51

News Release

The51 Food and AgTech Fund announces Farm Credit Canada as their lead investor and initial retail close

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has signed on to be the lead investor in The51’s Food and AgTech Fund, focused on investing in underrepresented founders transforming the business of food and agriculture.

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 9, 2022 /CNW/ – The51 is pleased to announce FCC as the lead investor of The51 Food and AgTech Fund (The Fund), a women-led fund investing in science-based technology entrepreneurs innovating from lab to plate. The $50 million Fund is led by a General Partnership between The51’s Co-founders Judy Fairburn and Shelley Kuipers, alongside AgTech pioneer Alison Sunstrum and fund Principal Yuan Shi.

The initial close of The Fund is a unique convergence of The51’s community capital (retail investors) and institutional investors working together with founders who are addressing and solving serious global issues. While setting a high bar in developing the investment thesis and reporting processes, the General Partnership believes The Fund will generate market competitive returns while creating positive change for underserved founders and the planet.

“There is no better time to invest in agriculture,” says Sunstrum. “Technology financing in AgTech has been growing for the past 15 years, and despite current funding slowdowns in other markets, investment in AgTech continues to outperform.”

As recent geopolitical events create challenges in global food insecurity, growth in AgTech investment is being driven by a longer-term interest in productivity gains, reduction in environmental impact and improved farm operator and animal well-being.

“To have Farm Credit Canada on the journey with us is a significant milestone,” shares Sunstrum. “FCC has had an unwavering commitment to Canadian agriculture for more than 50 years, and in Canada, agriculture matters.”

“The continued success of the Canadian agriculture and food industry relies on its ability to adopt technology, attract a skilled and diverse labour force, and embrace sustainability, all of which supports profitability and productivity in this vital sector of our economy,” said Rebbecca Clarke, vice-president of FCC venture capital. “FCC is pleased to support The51 Food and AgTech Fund which will bring fresh thinking to support a diverse group of entrepreneurs through investment in new technology that will help this sector grow and thrive.”

FCC is committed to matching institutional and retail capital as The51 approaches the next close for The Fund, set for fall 2022. With a focus on underrepresented founders of all genders who are driving diversity, equity and inclusion, The Fund has gathered a pipeline of hundreds of prospective ventures and will begin investing this September in early-stage companies to help them scale to Series A and beyond.

To learn more about the Food and AgTech Fund, please visit: the51.com/food-agtech-fund.

About The51

The51 is a Financial Feministâ„¢ platform where current and aspiring investors (particularly women and gender-diverse individuals) come together to democratize access to capital for women and underrepresented founders. By driving capital and commercialisation, The51 builds mutual wealth and social/environmental impact, shares knowledge and experiences and practices intersectional feminism through financial action. Our community of influential feminist investors, innovators, and consumers are building the Financial Feministâ„¢ economy.

About FCC

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $44 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and food. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, AgExpert management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industry. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, we provide an appropriate return to our shareholder, and reinvest our profits back into the industry and communities we serve. For more information, visit fcc.ca.

SOURCE The51

For further information: Carina Ludgate, Director of Marketing and Communications, The51, carina@the51.com, 780-934-5995