Tenacious Ventures Reaches $18 Million First Close for New Agtech Fund

Tenacious Ventures, an agriculture technology-focused venture capital firm, has secured $18 million in commitments for the first close of its second fund, targeting a total of $50 million. The firm, co-founded by Sarah Nolet and Matthew Pryor in 2019, continues to emphasize early-stage Australian startups in the agri-food sector with a focus on positive climate impact.

Notable investors in Tenacious Ventures Fund II include Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm’s Wollemi Capital Group, Reserve Bank of Australia board member Carol Schwartz’s Trawalla Group, and Macdoch Ventures. These investors join a diverse group of supporters, including exited founders, technology executives, impact investors, and primary producers in horticulture, grains, and livestock.

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Despite facing challenges in the fundraising environment, Tenacious Ventures has demonstrated resilience. Co-founder Sarah Nolet highlighted the economic difficulties and market conditions that delayed the fundraising process but expressed confidence in their investment strategy and the potential of Australian agtech. The firm had to adjust its initial $70 million target to $50 million and overcome multiple delays.

Tenacious Ventures’ first fund, closed in 2021 with $35 million, saw significant success. It invested over $23 million in various agtech startups, which subsequently attracted more than $240 million in follow-on capital. Key investments included Goterra, a food waste recycling startup, Jupiter Ionics, a green ammonia company, and SwarmFarm Robotics, which focuses on agricultural robotics.

Nolet emphasized the importance of sector-specific expertise in unlocking the potential of agri-food technology. She stated, “We leverage our specialized knowledge to be a lead investor, attracting additional investment and providing founders with the critical head start needed to drive climate-smart innovation.”

The firm’s differentiated portfolio and experience in agtech continue to attract both local and international investors. Victoria Denholm, CEO of Wollemi Capital, and Michael Robinson, co-founder of Macdoch Ventures, both praised Tenacious Ventures’ approach to sustainable and impactful investments in the agtech sector.

Looking ahead, Tenacious Ventures plans to maintain its focus on early-stage agtech startups while reserving a significant portion of its capital to support its best investments further. Nolet expressed optimism about the future of agri-food tech innovators in Australia, recognizing their capability to contribute to a carbon-neutral and climate-resilient future.


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