MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Innova Memphis, an early-stage venture capital firm, has announced the close of its latest fund, Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV.
As part of the USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program, the fund has been certified and licensed to operate as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC).
The $31 million fund will focus on early-stage investments anchored in rural America and will work with various national farm organizations and other partners to identify, enable and accelerate companies with high growth potential in the rapidly expanding AgTech sector.
This will be the firm’s fourth fund since its founding in 2007 by Memphis Bioworks and will build on the firm’s track record in early-stage venture capital, as well as further expand its ecosystem partnership model.
A key partner will be AgLaunch, a venture development organization, accelerator and farmer network organization, which focuses on a farm-centric commercialization model for agricultural innovation.
The fund focus will be investments in novel, technology-based solutions to solve real-world problems faced by today’s farmers.
Some of the target investment areas include:
- Farming technology, equipment and enabling innovation, including robotics.
- New technologies pertaining to crop production, harvest, storage, supply chain/logistics and processing/productivity tools and software.
- Areas of precision agriculture such as crop, water and chemicals management.
- Innovations addressing food security, safety and nutrition challenges.
- Novel animal health and welfare systems and practices.
Investment partners include Farm Credit Mid-America; AgriBank; AgStar Financial Services; CoBank; Farm Credit Bank of Texas; Farm Credit Mid-America; Farm Credit Services of America; FCS Financial; and Farm Credit of Western Arkansas.