Dealflow | March 20, 2024

Mad Capital raises $14 million in blended capital for regenerative farmland transitions

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Mad Capital raised $10 million in 2021 for its debut Perennial Fund, which went on to finance two dozen farmers in the US to transition more than 4,000 acres of farmland to organic production. Such transitions are underway on another 6,000 acres.

The Boulder, Colo.-based manager has secured $14 million in commitments from the Rockefeller and Schmidt Family foundations, Builders Vision and others toward a planned $50 million fund. The second Perennial Fund will provide flexible debt financing to help at least 50 family-owned farms to transition 25,000 acres from conventional to organic with technical support from Mad Capital’s nonprofit affiliate Mad Agriculture.

“Mad Capital is playing an integral role in the transition to regenerative organic agriculture,” said Sara Balawajder of Builders Vision, the impact platform of Walmart heir Lukas Walton. “They are providing capital to farmers who have been overlooked and underserved by traditional capital markets.”

Catalytic capital

US supply lags behind consumer demand for organically-grown food. Farmers’ lack of access to capital to finance the multi-year transition to organic production has been a barrier to wider adoption.

Mad Capital blends a first-loss pool with market-rate capital to structure deals tailored to farmers’ capital needs. “We have inverted the traditional risk and return profile of a standard capital stack,” by blending program-related foundation investments with family office investors, Mad Capital’s Brandon Welch told ImpactAlpha.

The goal: catalyze Wall Street to finance the transition of five million acres of conventional farmland to regenerative and organic production by 2032.