Avrio’s Fund III deploys $15 mln to Intelia, Alasko and CheeCha Puffs

Canadian venture capital firm Avrio Capital has invested a total of $15 million in three new portfolio companies. They are: Intelia Technologies Inc, a Montréal-based maker of control systems and data analytics services for the poultry and swine markets; Alasko Foods Inc, a Montréal-based supplier of branded and private label frozen fruits and vegetables; and Cadcan Marketing & Sales Inc, which operates as CheeCha Puffs, a Calgary-based healthy snack foods provider. Avrio made the investments through Avrio Ventures LP III, which raised $110 million in a final close in February. The fund invests in late-stage opportunities in agricultural and food technology sectors.


Avrio Capital Announces Completion of Three Investments


CALGARY and MONTREAL, May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Avrio Capital Inc. (“Avrio”) is pleased to announce that it has deployed C$15M of capital from its third institutional late stage venture fund, Avrio Ventures Limited Partnership III (the “Fund”). Avrio’s new portfolio investees include Intelia Technologies Inc. and Alasko Inc., both based in Montreal, QC and Cadcan Marketing & Sales Inc. (operating as CheeCha Puffs), based in Calgary, AB. Also 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$225M across over fifty portfolio companies in agriculture and food technology.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Intelia Technologies Inc., to develop the market for data analytics services to optimize production management across multiple animal husbandry applications. This investment opportunity is highly strategic, as it sits at the very intersection of animal health, and data analytics, two core components of the Avrio investment thesis. The digitization of animal health represents a new frontier for precision agriculture and we look forward to consolidating Intelia’s industry leading position in this segment,” said Aki Georgacacos, Senior Managing Director and Co-Founder at Avrio Capital. “As we launch into the next phase of our business, we are thrilled to have identified an investor with the deep domain expertise, track record, and commonality in vision to propel our business onto a global stage,” commented Dominic Desy, CEO of Intelia.

The investment focus of Fund III remains in 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. To this end, the Fund also completed two food-tech transactions with Alasko Foods Inc. (“Alasko”) and CheeCha Puffs, a manufacturer of healthier, nutritious snack food products.

Alasko Foods, a leading supplier of frozen fruits and vegetables has raised additional funds in support of the next phase of its growth strategy. “We are delighted to be working with Avrio. Their depth of food and agriculture expertise will be an important contribution to achieving our vision”, commented Michael Vineberg, the Chief Executive of Alasko. “Optimizing supply chains, minimizing food waste and enhancing overall preservation and quality of food is crucial in addressing global food security issues. Alasko’s market leadership position in addressing these global trends was very attractive,” added Steven Leakos, Managing Director at Avrio.

In addition to its first investment with Montreal based BioAmber Inc., Avrio has now concluded four total investments out of its third fund, which closed with total commitments approaching $110M, earlier this year. The fund is actively seeking quality opportunities to deploy $2-$10M in dynamic, growing agricultural and food technology companies seeking growth or expansion capital to address global issues 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 an active investor in the space for almost 15 years, having completed over fifty investments since its inception. Avrio is a highly engaged investor, working closely alongside of their portfolio companies to provide the support and resources needed to transform emerging companies into global leaders.

About Intelia Inc.

Intelia designs, manufactures and distributes a complete line of control systems and data analytics services for the poultry and swine markets. Products are easy to use, extremely versatile and allow operators to visualize data and results in real time. Intelia designed the offering for the horticultural and farming industries (dairy, hog and poultry farms). Its customers require environmental control systems that provide ideal growth conditions for production as well as data analytics to optimize growing conditions across multiple animal husbandry applications.

About Alasko Foods Inc.

Alasko Foods specializes in the supply of branded and private label frozen fruits & vegetables. Founded in 1989, Alasko has grown to become a leading North American supplier of frozen fruits & vegetables to the Foodservice, Industrial and Retail channels. Alasko is a portfolio company of L Catterton, a private equity firm with over $10 billion of capital under management.

About CheeCha Puffs

CheeCha Puffs is a better-for-you snack foods Company that helps consumers shamelessly enjoy great tasting snacks. Products are minimally processed and fulfill the strong consumer demand for a gluten free, low calorie, guilt free snacking experience with great taste. Based in Calgary, the company plans to leverage its proprietary production technology to provide an innovative full suite of healthy snacking options.

Photo courtesy of CheeCha Puffs