For our latest Meet the Investor Interview we chat with Addy Windsor-Clive, an investment manager at Regenerate Ventures. Regenerate Ventures is an EIS VC fund focusing on Early stage AgTech investments. She discusses her motivation in supporting startups tackling the ‘broken’ agri-food supply chain, her desire to see a more diverse set of founders within agriculture and the trends transforming the ag-tech sector.
What led you to investing in start-ups?
I started my career in Venture Capital and that’s where my love for it began and helping startups reach their true potential.
You back businesses that drive systemic change in the food system. What drives you to do this?
The agrifood supply chain is broken and all the pressure is being put on farmers so we are trying to alleviate that issue as well as producing food without ruining soil health to ensure it for future generations.
What is the gender and ethnic make-up of the founder population you look at? Does this impact how you invest in businesses and the way they work?
We are seeing more and more female led companies but we would like to see a much more diverse set of founders within agriculture.
What interesting trends are you seeing in the Agtech sector?
Precision agriculture to improve efficiency of crop prediction and yield and decarbonisation of the agricultural sector.
How are these trends changing the system?
Helping reduce chemical and fertiliser inputs that are helping to improve soil health but also to reduce GHG
What would you like to see more of, to accelerate the change in this field?
I would like to see more around soil testing and also data aggregation in the sector.
What are the key red flags when you are dealing with start-ups that you are potentially going to back?
A pitchdeck that isn’t in a suitable format asking the typical questions a VC would ask. Not knowing their market size or having a product fit.
What has made the biggest difference among your successful investments – traits and tactics of the founding team that have made the biggest difference?
In the AgriTech sector all the founders are very mission led and pivot easily as a result of feedback from industry experts. Also founders that are not afraid to give away equity.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs going through the fundraising process?
Have a bank of FAQs ready to go, ask friends and families or an investor that you know to help work them out. Allow yourself enough time.
Does the current national and global context, and the outlook of an increasingly uncertain world change your investment thesis? If so, how?
If anything it only verifies it more. The global food security and food safety issue is only becoming more pressing and investing in this sector as this stage is absolutely key to the future of the planet.
As both an investor in start-ups and a founder currently fundraising for your own fund, what is your top tip for anyone looking to fundraise for the first time?
Good pitch deck, all FAQs ready to go. Find out what the investor is looking for and tailor your pitch to that.
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