Syngenta has been involved in venturing since its formation in 2000 from the merger of Novartis’ and AstraZeneca’s Agribusinesses. Syngenta Ventures has a broad investment scope that supports Syngenta’s core activities of producing and selling agricultural crop protection products and seeds.
They categorize their investment activities into three distinct categories:
(1) Strategic Ag, focuses on Syngenta’s core business by investing in technologies and companies that are directly relevant to Syngenta’s business. They often invest in early stage companies in this segment as they are well positioned to assess the technologies and can bring additional value by accelerating their path to commercialization.
(2) R&D Platform Technologies. The companies in this segment typically have a broad technology capability that can be applied to a number of different industries. Their investment will often support the expansion of this technology into agriculture, creating additional value for the portfolio company.
(3) Adjacencies, which recognizes the important role that venture capital can play in identifying potentially disruptive technologies. Their investments in this segment are often in very different industries to Syngenta, but they all share the common theme of having technologies or business models that have the potential to shape the future of agriculture.
Their investments are focused on early stage companies where they typically take a minority equity stake alongside other corporate and financial investors, but they also invest in seed rounds and late stage growth rounds where there is a compelling investment case. They are seeking investments that are strategically relevant for Syngenta and financially attractive for investors.