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Looking to raise £5-100m? The Agri-Tech Lookbook supports bespoke introductions

Funding Finder

If you are aiming to raise £5-100m over the next year and want bespoke introductions to international venture capitalists and funds, then read on. The Department for Business and Trade’s (DBT) Venture Capital Unit, supported by Agri-TechE, is selecting companies to include in its third Agri-Tech Lookbook.

The DBT Venture Capital Unit aims to attract inward investment by creating long-term relationships with international Corporate VCs and VC funds.

Last year the experienced team facilitated over £1bn of VC investment into the UK.

In addition to its showcase events and missions, it also introduces pre-screened companies to known investors via sector specific ‘Lookbooks’.

These brochures profile 7-10 companies in a standard format and have become increasingly popular with investors.

This latest Lookbook is the third that Agri-TechE has supported and Director Dr Belinda Clarke, wrote a foreword for the last issue.

She comments: “Significant and sustained public and private investment into agri-tech has resulted in the UK consistently being in the top five globally for deals and investment into agri-tech, despite its relatively small size – a gearing which demonstrates the high potential for investment opportunities.

“As a number of our members scale their business, their finance needs are also growing, so we are particularly pleased to continue our partnership with the VCU to source agri-tech businesses seeking growth capital. Highlighting the best of British agri-tech to overseas investors also leverages direct foreign investment to the UK via the conduit of innovative companies, so there are multiple wins across the ecosystem.”

“This Lookbook also provides an opportunity for companies with an appetite for expansion and growth to gain profile with investors with a known interest and understanding of agri-tech.”

Jared Brooks of the Venture Capital Unit explains: “The companies selected will have bespoke introductions to our international VC network. Reviewing the figures for last year, we shared the Lookbook across about thirty-five international markets, facilitated thirty-three introductions for companies with investors, and supported overseas missions to California, North Carolina, and the UAE.

“A mandatory requirement for the company is a UK institutional investor, as this gives credibility with international investors – it shows due diligence by someone that knows the market.

Jared Brooks, DBT
Jared Brooks, DBT, looking to put deals to potential investors

“Once the companies are in the Lookbook they are also on our database and we consider them for other opportunities – for example, if we are organising a delegation of investors to the UK, we will include introductions to these companies in the programme. We are also planning more missions for 2024.

“Over the last six years this process has helped the selected companies raise over £10 billion.

“The contacts we have in the Middle East with sovereign wealth funds and family offices would be difficult to find through private introductions.”

Many of the previous participants in the Lookbook have been sourced through the Agri-TechE ecosystem and Jared has come to the membership organisation again to promote the third book.

“We want to represent the diversity of the agri-tech sector through the Lookbook, so the previous one featured precision livestock production, vertical farming, advanced breeding technologies, robotics, bio-plant protection, and crop health analytics.”

Jared comments that there is a strength in including a number of deals in one Agri-Tech Lookbook: “The books generate more interest than single deals, and it is easy for the investors to share and forward.

“Every year our pipeline of investors is getting bigger and the Lookbooks are an important part of this.”

Companies need to meet the following criteria:

  • UK Headquarters and operations
  • An existing institutional investor, such as a VC
  • Looking for a raise of £5-100m within the next 12 months (Series A-D)
  • IP-rich technology
  • Market potential and product (scalability, protected access, and addressable market)
  • Business viability (profits, customers, growth)

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From non-dilutive grant funding, to angel, VC and asset finance – there are many ways to get money into your business. The key is knowing what is right for you, at the right time in the evolution of your business, and who to talk to in order to maximise your chances of a successful outcome. At our annual Focus on Finance event you’ll find out where money is available to advance your agri-tech innovation.

Meet Jared Brooks at our Focus on Finance event

Jared Brooks, a key figure behind the Venture Capital Unit at the Department for Business and Trade, will be a notable presence at our upcoming Focus on Finance event. His involvement in steering the Agri-Tech Lookbook initiative brings valuable insights into connecting companies with international venture capitalists and funds.

Join us on Tuesday March 26 2024 at the Postdoc Centre at Eddington for an opportunity to engage with Jared and gain insights into the world of agri-tech finance – find out more.