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Green Generation Fund raises €100m to invest in food and green tech

Published on: September 20 2022

Investments in the new fund include Neggst, a Berlin-based startup which has developed a plant-based egg and has raised €5m in its first fundraising round 

One of the first investments of the Green Generation Fund is Berlin-based startup Neggts which has developed a plant-based egg which can be processed like a conventional egg | Photo by Neggst Foods GmbH

Berlin-based Green Generation Fund has raised €100m to invest in European early-stage startups  focusing on the food tech and green tech industries in Germany as well as across the wider European market and the United States. 

The fund, which was founded by Manon Littek and Janna Ensthaler, raised €100m, with €25m earmarked by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and €10m provided by German government-backed venture capital investor KfW Capital, a subsidiary of KfW, Germany’s development bank.  

Manon Littek and Janna Ensthaler, Green Generation Fund

Private investors who have also participated in the fundraising include anchor investor Florian Wendelstadt and family offices Kaltroco, Burda and SAP founding family Hopp, among others.   

The fund will invest in between 20 to 25 companies over a period of two to four years, targeting investments that contribute to CO₂ reduction in the agricultural and food sectors, including in areas such as plant protein extraction, and innovations in fermentation and cell cultivation.

The fund managers are also considering investments in the reduction in shelf-life substances in the food industry, more sustainable packaging, supply chains, carbon capture solutions and green tech software. 

This is one of the EIF’s first investments in Germany as part of the InvestEU programme, which aims to support sustainable investment, innovation and job creation in Europe. 

Responding to questions from Impact Investor, Littek said the fund had been oversubscribed in its first close but would be open for future fundraising rounds: “We plan to raise further generations of the fund in the future. We constantly talk to new investors that are interested in joining our mission.” 

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “Securing the green transition will require sustained investment. That is where InvestEU can play a crucial role. I am delighted that the new InvestEU programme is backing this EIF investment to support startups specialising in green technologies. This financing agreement will enable them to access the finance they need to invest in innovation, expansion and job creation. I am looking forward to seeing many other innovators follow suit.” 

Investment opportunities 

The fund has already invested in eight companies, including three Berlin-based startups: The Rainforest Company, an açai-based superfoods working to protect the worlds’ rainforests, Klim, a software platform helping farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture, and Neggst, a vegan egg company. 

Last week, Neggst, announced the closing of its seed round, after it raised €5m led by the Green Generation Fund. Other investors included agri-food companies BayWa AG and Raiffeisen Waren-Zentrale Rhein-Main eG (RWZ), family office Corecam Capital Partners and several business angels. 

Neggst, founded in 2021 by Verónica García-Arteaga and Patrick Deufel, says it is the first company in the world to have developed a plant-based egg that includes an egg white, yolk and eggshell and which can be processed like a conventional chicken egg, replacing intensive battery farming. It is a spinout of the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich where García-Arteaga developed the vegan egg as part of her PhD thesis. 

Commenting on their investment in Neggst, Littek, said: “Neggst can do away with mass laying batteries for hens and save around 1 percent of global CO₂ emissions through resource-saving production of their plant-based alternative. We believe Neggst can be a global leader with its versatile product for the egg category, like Oatly is for dairy and Beyond Meat is for meat.”