Emmertech reached an initial close of $45 million CAD and is expected to hit $60 million by the end of Q4 2021. The news comes on the heels of Conexus’ recently announced agtech accelerator, and Innovation Saskatchewan’s selection of Conexus Venture Capital to manage its own Agricultural Technology Venture Capital Fund.
“In building Emmertech, we felt there needed to be a different approach to agtech investing in Canada. As a starting point, we’ve built the fund from the ground up, engaging critical stakeholders across the entire agriculture supply chain as investors in the fund to actively work with our team and portfolio founders. This gives us the advantage of understanding the challenges and needs of the industry and provide the support they need to help take their startup to the next level as quickly as possible,” said Sean O’Connor, Managing Director, Conexus Venture Capital Inc. “The Canadian venture capital playbook doesn’t work within the agtech industry as it does other industries, so we’ve thrown it out and are building our approach that can create highly reliable technology products ready for commercialization in one of the most important industries in the world.”
Investors in the fund include farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs and several other Canadian credit unions including Connect First Credit Union, The Co-operators Group Limited, G&F Financial Group, Innovation Credit Union, UNI Financial Cooperation, Interior Savings Credit Union, and Libro Credit Union. The fund also received $15 million from Innovation Saskatchewan. Emmertech will be led by Sean O’Connor and Kyle Scott. Scott recently joined Conexus Venture Capital from Clairvest Group Inc.
“It’s exciting to continue building on the great work Sean and the team have put into date – it’s been an obvious catalyst in the Saskatchewan and Canadian tech ecosystems that’s only just beginning”, said Scott. “We have a generational opportunity for Canada to be a leader in global ag innovation but lack structured and knowledgeable capital that allows our entrepreneurs to thrive – we know Emmertech will play a big role in solving that problem and capturing value here in Canada.”