The Belgian investment fund Astanor Ventures has just completed a financing of 275 million euros, “well beyond the initial target”, reveals Echo.
Cause a revolution
The objective is to invest in around twenty agtech and foodtech start-ups in Europe and North America, to “cause a revolution in food and agriculture“, explained Eric Archambeau, co-founder of Atanor and formerly of Balderton Capital, to Techcrunch.
Astanor promises that all investments will be aligned with the United Nations-backed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the international community in 2015 to fight poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all here. 2030.
Investments in more than 20 start-ups
Since its creation in 2017, Astanor has invested in more than 20 European and American start-ups working to accelerate regenerative agriculture (holistic mode of land management), innovate in food production techniques and agriculture, as well as promote food culture.
Astanor has invested in Ynsect, the French nugget of Next40 which breeds insects to transform them into protein ingredients for pets, aquaculture and plants. The Belgian fund also has in its portfolio the French company La Ruche qui dit Oui, which offers fresh and local products in short circuits.
Outside France, we can cite Infarm, a Berlin company which is developing a new generation of connected farms, and Notpla, a young British shoot which is developing an alternative to plastic from algae. Astanor also provided funds to the Californian company Apeel, which specializes in reducing food waste, which has created plant protection for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Covid-19 has shown the weaknesses of our food system
Within its network, Astanor includes entrepreneurs, investors, farmers, chefs, policy makers and scientists specializing in agriculture and food. Its goal is “to help build a food system that is both nutritious, safe, self-regenerative, but also possible to scale up”, explains the Belgian company, which believes that Covid-19 has shown the weaknesses of our system food.
As a reminder, industry (in particular the energy production sector) and agriculture alone draw 88% of the world’s freshwater resources, according to the United Nations global report on the development of water resources. In addition, 4.5% of human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from livestock supply chains. This represents 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, according to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
But, beyond the environmental aspect, agtech and foodtech are flourishing markets. For example, the AT Kearney firm estimates that in 2040, 35% of the meat consumed in the world will come from cultivated meat, and 25% from second-generation plant substitutes, such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods.