Latvia's ALTUM, ZGI Capital invest in Estonian e-agriculture start-up

ZGI-4, a fund managed by ZGI Capital, said May 16 it was part of a EUR 1.5 million in Estonian start-up eAgronom, with 60% of the investments or EUR 0.9 million coming from European finds via Latvian state-owned financial institution ALTUM.

eAgronom is already known in the Baltic states and Poland with its farm management platform which includes a carbon farming program for farmers that helps to introduce sustainable farming methods and provides an opportunity to generate, certify and sell carbon offsets. Investments have been allocated for the company’s working capital and further development.

Estonian start-up eAgronom was established in 2016, and currently it employs more than 80 people. eAgronom has around 1,500 clients across Europe, managing more than one million hectares of arable land. During the last financing round the company attracted USD 7.4 million.

"As the farming industry is one of the largest environment polluters, it plays a significant role in recovery of the planet. At the same time, soil is one of the world’s largest natural carbon sinks. By using certain farming methods, it is possible to significantly improve carbon sequestration from the atmosphere into the soil, thus increasing the quality and fertility of the soil, reducing the necessity to use mineral fertilizers and providing significant contribution to achieving the environmental goals. The amount of carbon absorbed by soil as a result of considerate farming practices can be measured and subsequently sold as a carbon credit, providing an additional income to farmers," said a release from ZGI Capital.

eAgronom plans to use the attracted financing to expand in the market in the EU and outside EU, improve carbon emissions tracking technologies, including the introduction of blockchain solutions, and certify the programme in line with the highest industry standards.

“Considering the EU Green Deal for mitigation of climate change and increasing prices of energy resources and mineral fertilizers, interest in sustainable farming methods and their funding will be growing in the future. Investment projects with a focus on sustainable solutions are in demand right now, and we are glad to have an opportunity to support them. We can invest from EUR 0.5 million up to EUR 4.8 million in one company, therefore funding is also available for large-scale projects,” said ZGI Capital leading partner Normunds Igolnieks of the investment.

ZGI Capital is an alternative investment fund manager, registered with the Finance and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), which has operated in the Baltic market since 2005.

“Investment in eAgronom is a good example of how through venture capital funds ALTUM invests in innovative and ambitious companies with sustainable business ideas and scalability potential that also brings along higher risks. With the help of venture capital funds financed by ALTUM, we are investing and in the next planning periods will continue to invest sizeable EU funds resources in development of companies at different maturity stages, promoting the economic development of the Baltic region and increased global competitiveness of these companies,” said ALTUM board member Ieva Jansone-Buka.

ALTUM is a Latvian state-owned financial institution, which offers state aid for various target groups through a range of different financial instruments such as loans, credit guarantees, and investments in venture capital funds.

 

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