On Friday Astanor Ventures, a backer of German vertical farmer InFarm and French insect breeder Ynsect said it had raised a $325 million fund to invest in sustainable food, agriculture and ocean technology startups. The fund will support ventures that search to make the food supply more resilient while reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment – vulnerabilities that Astanor says have been exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Eric Archambeau, co-founder and partner of Astanor Ventures said, “It’s never been clearer that there’s a direct connection between the food that we eat and the environment that we live in.” “When one part of the ecosystem that connects farmers, consumers, livestock, rivers, seas, soil, plants and air becomes damaged, all parts suffer.”
All investments will support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the international community in 2015 to fight poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all by 2030.
Astanor quoted numbers that agriculture generates a third of all greenhouse gases and consumes 70% of the world’s fresh water, while 40% of food produced goes to waste or never makes it to market.
Since its establishment in 2017, Astanor has invested in more than 20 European and U.S. startups – it was the lead investor in French insect farming venture Ynsect and recently backed Berlin-based urban farming startup InFarm. Until now European venture capital funds have raised 5.9 billion euros. Making it a record year already, beating the previous record of 5.5 billion euros in 2018, according to startup tracker Dealroom.co.