Pontifax AgTech Launches $105M Venture Investment Fund

In the latest fund in an unprecedented boom in local investment funds, Los Angeles-based Pontifax AgTech Management announced this morning that it has closed on its first fund, a $105M fund calld the Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund. Pontifax AgTech said it will invest in revenue-generating businesses with proven technologies that improve the productivity, sustainability and efficiency of the agriculture supply chain. Pontifax AgTech said LPs in the new fund included financial institutions, university endowments, investment firms, large-scale growers and family offices. Pontifax AgTech was co-founded and is led by Ben Belldegrun and Phil Erlanger. The firm said it has already made seven investments in five companies, including Blue River Technology, AgBiome, Conservis, Caribou Biosciences and Anuvia; the company already exited its investment in Blue River Technology, which was acquired by John Deere for $305M in September. There are at least a dozen new venture capital funds who have announced big new funds in 2017 so far based across Southern California, and particularly in the Los Angeles area.