New €75m food and beverage fund

The new Redescale Food & Beverage Fund will invest in the future of food and beverage by investing in Irish food entrepreneurs.

A new €75m fund focused on the future of food and beverage has been launched by the Redesdale Food & Beverage Fund.

It will invest in the future of food and beverage by providing seed and early stage capital to Irish food entrepreneurs.

“Our mission is to provide start-up capital to help realise the ambitions of a new generation of food sector leaders in this country”

The fund brings together some of Ireland’s most accomplished financiers, food sector leaders and commercial scientists and has recently completed a first close of €27m.

“The food start-up sector in Ireland is fuelled by a strong entrepreneurial culture and underpinned by world class research but access to capital remains a challenge,” explained Simon Cummins, chair of Redesdale Group.

“Our mission is to provide start-up capital to help realise the ambitions of a new generation of food sector leaders in this country. I am delighted that we are joined in that mission by such a powerful group of domestic and international investors.

Menu of opportunities

Enterprise Ireland’s €15m investment through its Seed & Venture Capital Programme is anchoring the Fund.

“The importance of securing the food supply chain was underlined during the pandemic”

“The Food HPSU Team in Enterprise Ireland works with exciting food start-ups which have the potential to become scalable, sustainable, exporting food and beverage companies,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy.

“The Redesdale Food Fund is an important development in the food funding arena, and we are delighted to support it. The creation of a food specific fund and availability of that essential early stage capital will speed the growth of the next generation of ambitious Irish food and beverage companies.”

The fund’s backers include leading locally-owned businesses Musgrave Group and Monaghan Mushrooms. Lord Abbett, a leading US asset management company, Coca-Cola and Tate & Lyle will also participate.

“As a firm committed to securing a sustainable future for our clients, our people, and our world, we are truly excited about joining with other investors to fund the next generation of food sector leaders,” explained Doug Sieg, managing partner of Lord Abbett..

“Together, we have the power to fuel the innovation that will improve the well-being of the world’s population.”

Noel Keeley, CEO of Musgrave Group added: “Musgrave is delighted to extend its support to emerging Irish food and beverage businesses through its investment in the Redesdale Fund, providing much needed growth capital to local entrepreneurs that are pushing the boundaries of innovation in our sector.

“As consumers become more conscious of food choices, Musgrave is proud to be backing local producers as they seek to meet the demands of shoppers into the future; as an Irish business we have a history of supporting other Irish businesses, independent retailers, SME’s and local producers. In addition to our Food Academy programme, which currently supports 290 Irish food and beverage producers, this investment is yet another example of Musgrave’s support for local Irish producers, food leadership and home-grown food innovation.”

The Investment Team includes Michael Cantwell, former Head of Food in Enterprise Ireland, Owen Murphy, a leading venture capitalist, John Stapleton, a food entrepreneur well-known for his success with New Covent Garden Soup and Little Dish, as well as John Conroy, co-founder and former CEO of Merrion Capital. Eamonn Coghlan, former world champion at 5,000m, is the Fund’s Marketing Manager.

Niall FitzGerald KBE, former Chairman and CEO of Unilever plc and Chairman of Olam Food Ingredients, chairs the advisory board to the Fund. Stan McCarthy, former CEO of Kerry Group plc, is Chairman of the Investment Committee.

The team is optimistic about the opportunities in food and beverage in Ireland. John Conroy said: “The importance of securing the food supply chain was underlined during the pandemic. Underneath, there are profound changes in the nature and sourcing of food and beverage products, as food plays an increasingly important role in individual and governmental health strategies and as we seek to move to a more sustainable future. Ireland is at the forefront of that change in food and beverage”.

Enterprise Ireland will be hosting a joint webinar on 16th December with the fund team to discuss the overall funding landscape for food companies. The webinar will discuss Enterprise Ireland supports and advice available to start-ups in the Food and Beverage Sector and the role that the Redesdale fund will play in that ecosystem.

Key speakers include Stan McCarthy (Redesdale Food Fund), Sinead Crowther (Founder & CEO of Soothing Solutions), Michael Cantwell (General Partner, Redesdale Food Fund) & Nicola NicPhaidin (Manager HPSU, Enterprise Ireland).

The webinar will take place on the 16th December at 12pm. To register for this webinar, please visit https://globalambition.ie/webinar-irish-food-startup-landscape-and-funding/

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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