Astanor Ventures announced today the creation of a $325m global fund that will invest exclusively in food, agriculture, and ocean tech startups. Integral to the fund’s mission is the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and acceleration of climate-positive commitments, such as the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy and the Green Deal. “Covid-19 has exposed the inherent connection between our environment and our health and highlighted the role farming and food can play as our best medicine and source of resilience,” Astanor Ventures says in a statement.
Investing In The World’s Fragile Food Supply Chains
The over-subscribed multi-stage fund is announced during a time when coronavirus has shed light on the world’s fragile and complex food supply chains. The UN World Food Programme forecasts the pandemic will double acute hunger by the end of 2020 at a time when Covid-19 brought to surface another serious pandemic, obesity: a growing body of evidence shows a strong correlation between obesity and increased covid-19 mortality. “The food and agriculture sector has been designed to deliver calories at an ever-lower price. The cost of prioritizing quantity over quality is being paid, 30% of the world is now obese or overweight, while 1 in 9 suffer from malnutrition and hunger,” Astanor Ventures states. The fund sites booming greenhouse gas emissions linked to agriculture, resource scarcity (70% of the world’s freshwater resources are consumed by agriculture), and waste (40% of food produced goes to waste or never makes it to market) amongst the key challenges their impact fund will look to address.
An Urgent Need For An Impact Investor
“It’s never been clearer that there’s a direct connection between the food that we eat and the environment that we live in. When one part of the ecosystem that connects farmers, consumers and livestock becomes damaged, all parts suffer. The pandemic has brought this home to us vividly and there is now an urgent need for an impact investor,” says Eric Archambeau, co-founder, and partner of Astanor Ventures and an early investor in Spotify, Betfair among others. “By aligning new technology with existing knowledge and methods, we can reconnect ourselves to the land and begin to resolve the problems that are preventing people from having access to affordable, plentiful, and nourishing food,” Archambeau says.
Initial investments by Astanor Ventures include French insect protein producer, Ÿnsect, German vertical vegetable farmer, InFarm and farm-to-table platform, La Ruche Qui Dit Oui. Since its founding in 2017, Astanor has invested in more than 20 European and US startups that are working to accelerate regenerative agriculture, innovate food production techniques and farming, as well as promote food culture and the enjoyment of food.
Source: Forbes – Business