Arama Kukutai is a co-founder of Finistere Ventures, which he started in 2005 with renowned entrepreneur Dr. Jerry Caulder. Arama migrated into venture investing from a successful career as an entrepreneur and operator in dairy agribusiness, ag investing and international trade. Prior to Finistere, he was Chairman and CEO of PKW Farms in his native New Zealand, a grass-based dairy agribusiness which he founded and today is among the leading dairy operations of its kind. He also served as a Director of the related PKW Incorporation, a $500M agribusiness and diversified investment entity involved in agriculture, aquaculture and rural property management with activities in New Zealand, Asia and Australia. Following his successful stint at PKW, he was appointed by the New Zealand government to lead their Trade Development agency in North America establishing multiple pathways for New Zealand businesses to trade with and invest in the US, Canada and Mexico markets worth over $2B of goods and services.
Through his work at Finistere Ventures, Mr. Kukutai has pioneered innovation investment in Ag technology with the premier Fund focused on the sector, investing in successful companies like Athenix Inc acquired by Bayer AG for $400M. He also actively serves on the boards of other portfolio startups including SGB Inc as Chairman, Hawaii Dairy Farms, LLC and Algenetix, Inc as a Director. Under his leadership, Finistere is launching a new $150M venture fund in 2014 continuing their class-leading work on agricultural innovation.
Mr. Kukutai was a member of the founding group of the Agriculture Innovation Showcase, which is now in its sixth year of annual meetings in St Louis. This effort partnered Ag investors with the Danforth Plant Science Institute and the Larta Institute to provide a forum for investors, scientists and entrepreneurs. He has lived and worked internationally for much of his career and brings a strong international agricultural business focus to Finistere Venture’s activities. Mr. Kukutai is responsible for agricultural technology and green energy portfolio investments and is a member of Finistere’s Investment Committee.