Astanor Ventures aiming USD 325 million at food, ocean technology start-ups
A new global impact fund of USD 325 million (EUR 271 million), aimed at the food, agriculture, and ocean technology sectors has been launched by Brussels, Belgium-based venture capital firm Astanor Ventures.
Founded in 2017 by Eric Archambeau and George Coelho, Astanor is an impact investment firm, delivering financial, social, and environmental returns in equal measure. It was set up to invest in disruptive companies creating systemic change in the food and farming sectors, while restoring the cultural dimension of food.
Astanor looks for to invest in technology that connects nature, producers, and consumers, and which ensures transparency, fair value, and quality, according to the company. The new fund will be used to help European and North American start-ups and entrepreneurs to solve problems in food production and curb climate change, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We look for ambitious entrepreneurs innovating in food processing to maintain and enrich quality, not just to scale quantity,” Archambeau said. “Nutrition is king, and data is starting to make this story clear.”
Astanor has already invested in more than 20 European and U.S. agriculture and food production start-ups. Spanning companies dealing with food waste, vertical farming, and food trading platforms, the fund has also invested in French insect-grower Ÿnsect, which transforms humanely-raised insects into premium animal nutrition, and Notpla, a British company seeking to eliminate plastics with a revolutionary biodegradable packaging material made from seaweed and plants.
Ÿnsect has gained market leadership with its nutritious insect protein powder for animal feed and aquaculture, and is increasing its capacity with a second unit to meet demand from pet food and animal feed producers. With a planned production of more than 100,000 metric tons per year, the company will be the biggest insect farm in the world, with the additional benefit of having a carbon negative footprint.
“Astanor’s expertise, network, and global advisors in deep science, marketing, manufacturing and finance, help us to strengthen our governance, manage complex industrial projects. and attract the best co-investors,” Ÿnsect CEO Antoine Huber said.