Canadian venture capital firm Rio Investment Partners has raised $77.5 million in the first close of a $150 million fund focused on investing in North America’s agri-technology and food technology value chain.
The fund’s backers include Farm Credit Canada.
Rio, which has offices in Calgary and Montréal, is the successor to Avrio Capital. It is led by several Avrio team members, including Co-founder and Managing Director Aki Georgacacos, Managing Director Steven Leakos and Principal Jonathan Goodkey.
Jean-Francois Huc, formerly the CEO of BioAmber Inc, also joined Rio as co-founder and managing director.
Rio’s fund will invest $3 million to $10 million in growth-stage companies operating in the various segments of the agri-food technology market.
Photo: Aki Georgacacos, co-founder and managing director of Rio Investment Partners.
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.
For further information: Media Contact: Randi Lethebe, email@example.com, (403) 215.5492