May. 27, 2019
Sumitomo Chemical announced that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc. (“SCAI”), has made investment, as a limited partner, in Cultivian Sandbox Food & Agriculture Fund III, LP (“Fund III”), which is operated by a venture capital firm Cultivian Sandbox Venture Partners III, LLC, (“CS”) based in Chicago, Illinois.
Founded in 2008, CS is among the first venture capitals to invest in companies that possess next-generation food and agricultural technologies. Its brilliant track record of food and agricultural venture investing has been achieved by experienced teams of professionals. Fund III will invest the recently raised fund of US$135 million exclusively in startups that are working toward building further enhanced sustainable food systems. CS has already invested in a company that is engaged in activities aimed at reducing food loss and another company that designs and produces animal-free collagens for use in nutrition and food products.
In its new medium-term Corporate Business Plan commencing in the current fiscal year, Sumitomo Chemical has posted a number of basic policies, one of which is to accelerate creating next-generation businesses through collaboration with startups and academia in four priority areas, including healthcare and food. The investment by SCAI in Fund III will allow Sumitomo Chemical to gain access to the latest information on promising startups through the collaboration network of CS and then to help explore and build solid relationships with them at the earliest possible opportunity.
In April of this year, SCAI relocated its Corporate Venturing & Innovation Office from New York to Cambridge, north of Boston, in Massachusetts as part of Sumitomo Chemical's corporate initiatives for the Sumitomo Chemical Group to promote exploring business opportunities globally. Cambridge and its vicinity being one of the world’s largest hubs for various kinds of innovation, Sumitomo Chemical will vigorously explore and discuss opportunities for mutually beneficial schemes of collaboration with promising startups in the U.S.