Supply Change Capital secured $40 million in capital commitments for its first fund, which targets investments in the $10 trillion global food industry.
The female and Latina-owned company is led by co-founders and managing partners Noramay Cadena and Shayna Harris, who met in business school 14 years ago.
This year, a growing number of women-led venture capital firms have closed on significant debut funds, including Supply Change Capital. This comprises announcements made by:
Jessica Verrilli and April Underwood of Adverb Ventures announced in July that they had raised $75 million for their debut fund.
Jennifer Stojkovic at Joyful Ventures, which also raised $23 million for culinary technology investments.
Public Ventures’ Zoey Dash McKenzie is aiming for $100 million.
Erin and Sara Foster are pursuing $20 million for Oversubscribed Ventures.
Meena Harris and Helen Min launched Phenomenal Ventures with $6 million in funding.
Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan raised nearly $54 million at Emblem.on.
Before becoming an investor, Cadena was a qualified aerospace engineer. When she transitioned to venture capital, she primarily invested in manufacturing and supply chain businesses.
Harris, on the other hand, came from the operator side, having served as the chief operating officer of Farmer’s Fridge and developing Mars’ sustainable commodities program.
They began fundraising for the fund in 2021, and it took them approximately two years to raise $40 million.
They attribute this to a number of factors, including the fact that limited partners wanted to see how they invested as a team and the fact that 75% and 25% of their investments are in technology and consumer companies, respectively.
Cadena and Harris argue, however, that by having investments in both sectors, they can better comprehend the pain points reported by their portfolio companies.
“It’s been interesting to see how it’s played out in our fund,” Cadena told TechCrunch, “because we don’t believe we can be viable and real food tech investors without investing in food.
This provides us with the halo effect necessary to comprehend the challenges emerging brands face in the ecosystem.
This was another obstacle we had to overcome, as we must remain steadfast in our belief that it is crucial for us to comprehend both sides of the table.
301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills, MassMutual through its First Fund Initiative, the Office of the Illinois Treasurer through the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund, Illumen Capital’s Catalyst Fund, and J.P. Morgan Asset Management are among the pair’s limited partners.
Cadena and Harris started investing in June of 2021. In addition, they provide founders with a six-month cohort program that concentrates on leadership, management, and culture.
With a focus on securing the future food supply, they make early investments in high-tech food, agriculture, and ingredients, supply chain technology, and enterprise software.
Supply Change has already invested approximately $13 million in 15 firms. Eighty percent of the portfolio consists of Latinx, African-American, or female founders and CEOs.
Among them are the allergen-free snack food manufacturer Partake Foods, the ingredients startup Michroma, and the alternative seafood manufacturer Aqua Cultured Foods. Supply Change led three of the 15 transactions.
Cadena and Harris invest not only in culture and climate, but also in the demand side, which drives global food and water shortages.
“On the demand side, we felt we could bring a unique perspective to this market,” Harris said in an interview.
Where we see opportunity, and where we believe consumers are underserved, is in delivering the next generation’s nourishment.
They are focused on these changes, and there is a need in terms of both the technologies available to assist them obtain the products they want and the products themselves reaching the shelves.