Canadian venture capital firm Avrio Capital has raised $110 million in the final close of its third institutional late-stage fund, Avrio Ventures LP III. The fund closing, which included the launch of a parallel investment vehicle, is the largest in Calgary-based Avrio’s history. Fund III’s limited partners included cornerstone investors Farm Credit Canada and Export Development Canada, as well as Alberta Enterprise Corp, BDC Capital, Fondaction CSN, HarbourVest Canada Growth Fund and several family offices. Founded in 2002, Avrio invests in innovative food and agriculture companies. Its team has deployed more than $200 million to 50 portfolio companies, including Farmers Edge Inc and Hortau Inc.
Avrio Capital Announces Final Closing of its Largest Late Stage Venture Fund
CALGARY and TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Avrio Capital Inc. (“Avrio”) is pleased to announce the second closing of its third institutional late stage venture fund, Avrio Ventures Limited Partnership III (the “Fund”) and the establishment of Avrio Ventures Parallel Limited Partnership III (collectively with the Fund, “Fund III”). With total commitments approaching $110M, the closing establishes Fund III as the largest in Avrio’s history and follows the first closing which occurred in August of 2014 with the Fund’s cornerstone investors, Farm Credit Canada and Export Development Canada. Based in Calgary, Alberta, the Avrio team is one of Canada’s longest standing venture franchises having accumulated 15 years of investment experience while placing in excess of C$200M across fifty portfolio companies in agriculture and food technology.
The investment focus of Fund III remains the agriculture and food technology sectors, where the firm has posted industry leading results with investments in companies such as Brookside, and Wolf Trax Inc., transactions that were selected as the Canadian Venture Capital Association’s Deal of the Year for generating outstanding investment returns. According to Aki Georgacacos, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Avrio, “The adoption of technology along the agricultural value chain is occurring at an unprecedented pace. Food security, wellness, sustainability and the digitization of the farm are just a few of the macro themes creating a new class of ag-tech companies that are redefining the ways in which we feed the world.” Avrio Ventures Limited Partnership II, which was established in 2011, has made investments in impressive early stage companies such as Farmers Edge Inc. and Hortau Inc., the latter of which was recently added to the Global Cleantech, 100 companies to watch list. Wade Barnes, CEO of Farmers Edge recently commented, “We’re growing really quickly. This sector — It’s sort of a gold rush out there”.
New investors to Fund III include HarbourVest Canada Growth Fund L.P., HarbourVest Canada Parallel Growth Fund L.P. and Fondaction, le Fonds de développement de la Confédération des syndicats nationaux pour la coopération et l’emploi, as well as a number of family offices who join Fund III’s cornerstone investors as well as incumbent limited partners, BDC Capital and Alberta Enterprise Corporation.
“We are very pleased to be one of the lead investors in this closing of Fund III,” said Victor Scutaru, Director, Fund Investments, BDC Capital. “As one of Canada’s very few nationally focused venture capital investors, BDC Capital is very active in supporting the emergence of world-class fund managers such as Avrio, helping them achieve the scale they need to support successful companies and deliver world-class returns in Canada.”
“I am delighted that our Canadian Growth Fund identified this promising investment in a new investment vertical that is poised for significant growth,” commented Senia Rapisarda, principal with HarbourVest, one of Canada’s leading venture fund of fund managers. “Avrio is the global leader in ag-tech investing, a sector that we believe represents compelling opportunity for outsized returns as companies pursue innovation that addresses the growing imbalance between a growing population base and the earth’s natural life support mechanisms.”
“We are thrilled to have added new institutional investors to our second closing including HarbourVest,” continued Georgacacos. “Increasing the overall fund size while continuing to broaden the breadth and depth of our investors is further validation to Avrio’s core investment thesis surrounding the importance of innovation in addressing global challenges related to health, wellness and sustainability.”
About Avrio Capital Inc.
The Avrio group of entities was established in 2002 to identify and invest in innovative food and agriculture companies that provide solutions to global challenges in the areas of health, wellness and sustainability. As the global pioneer in ag and food technology investing, the team has been a very active investor in the space for almost 15 years, having completed over fifty investments since its inception. Avrio is a highly active investor, working closely alongside of their portfolio companies to provide the support and resources needed to transform emerging companies into global leaders.
About HarbourVest LLC
HarbourVest is an independent, global private markets investment specialist with more than 30 years of experience and $37 billion in assets under management. The firm’s powerful global platform offers clients investment opportunities through primary fund investments, secondary investments, and direct co-investments in co-mingled funds or separately managed accounts. HarbourVest has more than 300 employees, including 86 investment professionals, across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This global team has committed more than $30 billion to newly-formed funds, completed over $13 billion in secondary purchases, and invested $5 billion directly in operating companies. Partnering with HarbourVest, clients have access to customized solutions, longstanding relationships, actionable insights, and proven results.
About BDC Capital
A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital offers a full spectrum of specialized financing and investment solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full growth potential. With more than $1.6 billion under management, BDC Capital takes a strategic, patient approach to nurture companies’ development over the long term.
From venture capital and equity, to growth and transition capital, our team of over 100 experienced, local professionals partner with entrepreneurs to identify and meet their needs on flexible terms. Some of the sectors in which we specialize include IT, industrial/clean/energy technology, and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.bdccapital.ca or follow us on Twitter at @BDC_Capital.
About Fondaction CSN
Fondaction invests in Québec-based SMEs in order to help create and maintain jobs in Québec from a sustainable development perspective. It manages assets of close to $1.4 billion in retirement savings from more than 128,000 shareholders. Through its investments or its commitments, made either directly or through its partner or specialized funds, Fondaction supports the development of over 850 SMEs that make a distinctive contribution to Québec’s social and economic development, including a number of social economy enterprises.
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