San Diego Business Journal

An agricultural technology and life sciences venture capital investor, Finistere Ventures, LLC, partnered with International Farming Corp., an institutional farmland owner in North Carolina, to launch Willow Hill Ventures.

Finistere Ventures has offices in Palo Alto and San Diego. The companies made the announcement of the strategic partnership and launch on April 26.

Willow Hill Ventures is the first agricultural venture fund with a farmland base and on-farm innovation ecosystem dedicated to growth capital, according to the release from Finistere Ventures.

"Growth capital is critical to adopt and scale early agtech investments into viable farming businesses,” said Arama Kukutai, co-founder at Finistere, in the company’s news release. “And validation of these technologies through farmer uptake and field tests creates positive market traction. Innovative entrepreneurs require experienced investors and a farmland foundation to accelerate revenue and achieve market scale. We think this combination will help the best agtech startups bridge the Series B funding gap.”

Willow Hill will dedicate farmland for scientific testing programs to test and vet disruptive technologies and navigate trends and pressures on the farmer. Willow Hill will specifically focus on big data, novel farm systems, food quality, nutrition, genetics and seed tech to increase sustainability, profitability and productivity of agriculture, according to the release.

The company will provide growth capital and a platform for scaling technologies by testing solutions and then funding and scaling what works.