Singapore-based agrifood tech investor VisVires New Protein (VVNP) has rebranded as Clay Capital, marking a significant stride in its journey. Alongside the rebranding, the firm announced the closure of its second fund, amassing a substantial $145 million. This fund, aptly named Fund II, is poised to propel startups in Europe, Israel, and Asia that are leveraging technology to address fundamental challenges plaguing the food system.
The transition from VisVires New Protein to Clay Capital signifies a broader investment focus. Initially, VVNP, established in 2013, honed in on the food, agriculture, health and nutrition, and life sciences sectors, with over $780 million in total equity funding across its portfolio companies. The rebranding embodies a shift towards food and agriculture technology, particularly in the early stages of Series A and Series B rounds. The name "Clay Capital" symbolizes fertile ground, underlining the firm's dedication to nurturing a healthy food system from the soil up.
Before rebranding, VisVires New Protein had a rich investment history with over $780 million total equity funding raised across its portfolio companies, and a proprietary pipeline consisting of over 2000 relevant startup companies. Today, Fund II, with its $145 million capital, underscores Clay Capital's commitment to fostering innovation in the agrifood tech sector. The fund has already kickstarted investments in ventures like French biostimulant producer Toopi, Israeli bioherbicide startup WeedOUT, and French kitchen robot manufacturer Cook-e. This fund is a testament to the firm's dedication to catalyzing change in the food system, focusing on areas like sustainable packaging, fermentation, agriculture biologicals, crop disease resistance, soil health, and regenerative agriculture.
Clay Capital plans to invest in up to 15 companies, with initial checks ranging from $3-8 million. This strategy also includes provision for additional capital for follow-on investments, demonstrating a long-term commitment to the success and growth of the funded startups. The investment areas reflect a broad spectrum of challenges within the agrifood sector that Clay Capital aims to tackle.
Strategically positioned between Singapore and London, Clay Capital aims to bridge the growing markets of Asia and Europe. This positioning is designed to support startups in accessing growth opportunities across both regions, capitalizing on the dynamic and adaptable nature of European startups amidst regulatory challenges.
The European regulatory landscape, especially around animal welfare and sustainability, is driving firms to innovate. Investments in areas like sex determination for chicks before hatching, aiming to mitigate the ethical issue of male chick culling, are among the innovative solutions spurred by these regulatory pressures.
The rebranding and the new fund underscore a maturing market, with increasing tailwinds, technology maturity, and a renewed focus on business fundamentals in the agrifood tech sector.
This rebranding and fund closure underscores Clay Capital's expanded vision and substantial financial backing, ready to foster innovation in the agrifood tech sector across Europe, Israel, and Asia. Through strategic investments and a widened focus, Clay Capital is well-positioned to make a significant impact in the evolving global food system landscape.