Innova Memphis has raised $31 million to fund U.S. agriculture innovation.
The fund, the fourth for Innova, has been certified as a Rural Business Investment Company, a category that requires 75 percent of funds be invested in communities of 50,000 people or less, and at least 50 percent in businesses.
Innova, based in Memphis, Tenn., is trying to spur early-stage agtech development within farming communities, rather than in tech hubs like Silicon Valley.
“I think companies should be where their customers are,” says Innova’s Jan Bouten. Innova got its start in 2007 as part of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation’s effort to spur high-growth tech companies in the Memphis area.