Open Prairie, an Effingham, IL-based multi-faceted private equity fund management firm with deep roots in rural America, closed its third fund, at $81m.
Backed by 12 Farm Credit institutions, 14 commercial and community banks and several strategic, agriculture-related organizations, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, LP, is focused on providing debt and equity capital of $2m – $8m to growth companies in food and agriculture.
The firm expects to build a portfolio of 12 – 15 investments with initial deal sizes between $2 – $5 million and additional reserves for follow-on funding.
The team has identified several key sub-sectors within the agribusiness value chain as opportunistic, including: soil, water and crop technologies; monitoring, sensor and data analytics platforms; food safety; and value-added processing and manufacturing.
To date, the fund has deployed capital into three investments:
– Tillerman Seeds, a Michigan-based seed company specializing in the expansion of its proprietary non-GMO and organic seed lines;
– MyAgData, an Illinois-based developer of the analytics platform for electronic acreage reporting and other farm management activities; and
– Green Dot Bioplastics, a Kansas-based company with a mission to reduce the environmental footprint of traditional plastics and to meet the demand for sustainable plastics by creating and manufacturing bioplastics and biocomposites used in a variety of industries.