Astanor Ventures raises $325 million for investing in agri-food tech startups

On Friday, Astanor Ventures, a backer French insect breeder Ynsect as well as Germany’s vertical farmer InFarm stated, it had raised a $325 million fund to invest in sustainable agriculture, food, and ocean technology startups.

The new fund will back ventures that seek to make the food supply more resilient to climate change and attempt to reduce its impact on agriculture and the environment, which according to Astanor have been exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s never been clearer that there’s a direct connection between the food that we eat and the environment that we live in,” said Eric Archambeau, partner and co-founder of Astanor Ventures. “When one part of the ecosystem that connects farmers, consumers, livestock, rivers, seas, soil, plants and air becomes damaged, all parts suffer.”

Investments from the new fund will support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which in 2015 were adopted by the international community to protect the environment, fight poverty, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.

Archambeau cited figures which showed that agriculture generates a third of all greenhouse gases emissions and consumes 70% of the world’s fresh water, and whereas 40% of the food produced goes to waste or never makes it to market.

Archambeau and co-founder George Coelho had previously launched venture capital fund Balderton Capital and were, among others, early investors in Spotify.

According to startup tracker Dealroom.co, European venture capital funds have, as of date, raised $7 billion (5.9 billion euros) in the current year to date, beating the previous record of 5.5 billion euros in 2018.

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