EFFINGHAM, IL, February 13, 2019 – Open Prairie announced that it has completed a final closing of its third fund, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, LP, a balanced private equity fund licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC).
“The dynamic partnership of this investor group, consisting of Farm Credit institutions working alongside commercial banks that focus on rural and agricultural lending, creates an unparalleled opportunity for Open Prairie to provide both capital and market access to our portfolio companies,” says Open Prairie Founder and Managing Partner, Jim Schultz. He further notes, “With extensive expertise in the agribusiness field, our management team and advisors have the insights and relationships to develop unique investment opportunities that will allow us to assist in accelerating growth for the companies in which we invest.”
With $81 million of capital from a diverse investor base that includes 12 Farm Credit institutions, 14 commercial and community banks and several strategic, agriculture-related organizations, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund will provide debt and equity capital to growth and later-stage companies in the agribusiness sector with a focus on opportunities headquartered in rural America. To date, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund has deployed capital into three investments: Tillerman Seeds, a Michigan-based seed company specializing in the expansion of its proprietary non-GMO and organic seed lines; MyAgData, an Illinois-based developer of the industry-leading analytics platform for electronic acreage reporting and other farm management activities; and Green Dot Bioplastics, a Kansas-based company with a mission to reduce the environmental footprint of traditional plastics and to meet the growing demand for more sustainable plastics by creating and manufacturing bioplastics and biocomposites used in a variety of industries.
Open Prairie expects to build a portfolio of 12 – 15 investments with initial deal sizes between $2 - $5 million and additional reserves for follow-on funding. The Open Prairie team has identified several key sub-sectors within the agribusiness value chain as opportunistic, including: soil, water and crop technologies; monitoring, sensor and data analytics platforms; food safety; and value-added processing and manufacturing.
According to Patrick Morand, President of Open Prairie, “Rural America is experiencing a wave of growth from new and innovative companies. Much of this expansion is coming across a broad spectrum of agribusiness from farm through supply chain. The Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is uniquely positioned to further catalyze sustainability, productivity, profitability and prosperity for today’s agriculture and to serve as a valued partner in the current rural-American renaissance.”
About the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund
The Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is an $81 million private equity fund licensed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC). With a collaborative partnership comprised of investors from Farm Credit institutions, commercial and community banks, strategics, family offices and high net worth individuals committed to advancing rural America, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is focused on providing debt and equity capital of $2 - $8 million to growth companies in food and agriculture. For more information on the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, please visit www.openprairie.com.
About Open Prairie
Open Prairie, based in the heartland of America with headquarters in Effingham, Illinois, is a multi-faceted private equity fund management firm with deep roots in rural America. Founded in 1997, Open Prairie has consistently focused on facilitating capital accessibility in underserved markets. The Open Prairie team has managed funds ranging from technology-based private equity and venture capital to farmland portfolios. Through its expertise across all functional business disciplines and an extensive network of professionals, Open Prairie works in partnership with its portfolio companies to accelerate growth while providing top-tier returns to its investors. For more information about Open Prairie, please visit www.openprairie.com.
Jason Wrone – +1.217.347.5430