The Brussels-based investor believes the agri-food technology and bioeconomy sectors are still attractive funding destinations, despite fluctuating market conditions.
Astanor Ventures, an impact investor in agri-food technology, has announced a €360m final close for its second venture fund which, according to the company, shows continued demand for innovative solutions in the sector.
Brussels-based Astanor said the fund would be based on its core investment strategy of supporting early-stage and mission-driven companies that have identified a social or environmental issue and have developed a nature-positive solution to resolve it, with an emphasis on fostering regenerative agriculture. All of Astanor’s funds come under Article 9, the greenest classification under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.
“When looking at new companies to invest in, our approach will continue to always look for highly disruptive and scalable business models, driven by ambitious entrepreneurs who also share our vision of sustainable and resilient agri-food and bioeconomy systems,” Eric Archambeau, a co-founder of Astanor, said.
As Impact Investor reported recently, investment in agri-food tech startups has suffered in recent months, following years of spectacular growth that outpaced the wider market. But investors believe the scope to introduce further innovations will continue to provide opportunities – a view shared by Astanor.
The company said the substantial size of its fund illustrated the “immense potential and resilience” of the agri-food tech sector . It said the sector had remained “intrinsically captivating and ripe for innovation”, despite fluctuating market conditions. Benefitting from the increasing global attention on the climate crisis and growing demand for sustainable solutions.
Astanor, which was founded by Chambeau and fellow tech investor George Coelho in 2017, launched its first fund in 2020 and has invested in more than 45 companies and founders around the world. Over that period it has received backing from institutional investors, large family offices and other long-term funders, several of which have been repeat investors. Astanor now has around €800 million of assets under management, including various funds and special purpose vehicles.
Companies in which Astanor has invested include US food tech company Plantible, insect-derived nutrition developer Ynsect, French agri-food crowdfunding platform Miimosa, US autonomous electric tractor startup Monarch, UK-based health food firm The Gut Stuff, and Apeel, a Californian firm that produces a plant-based edible coating that extends the shelf life of avocados, citrus and other types of fruit.