Astanor Ventures has closed an approx €274.5 million global fund, according to EU Startups. It says the fund will help revolutionise the food and agriculture sector – putting the health of people and ecosystems back at the heart of the food system.
It says the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the need for a more resilient food supply chain and raised urgent questions about food security.
Astanor is a multi-stage tech investor with a love of food, cross-sector expertise and belief in agriculture’s power to regenerate the planet and curb climate change.
With its first impact fund, it is seeking Europe and North America’s most ambitious entrepreneurs across food, agriculture and ocean tech startups who share this mission and want to solve systemic challenges across the food system and build businesses that thrive with nature.
The food and agriculture sector in modern times has been designed to deliver calories at an ever-lower price. The cost of prioritising quantity over quality is being paid in, according to Astanor:
- Booming greenhouse gas emissions – agriculture generates 1/3 of all ghgs, while livestock farming alone is responsible for 18%, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation;
- Resource scarcity – 70% of the world’s fresh water resources are consumed by agriculture, 1/3 of the earth’s soil has been “acutely degraded” by intensive farming and fertile soil is being lost at a rate of 24bn tonnes a year as demand for food increases;
- Waste – 40% of food produced goes to waste or never makes it to market;
- Chronic disease – 30% of the world is now obese or overweight, while 1 in 9 suffer from malnutrition and hunger;
- A loss of both quantity and quality – crop yields are flatlining, desertification is on the rise and produce is deteriorating in quality. The average fruit or vegetable has 15% less nutrients than it did in 1950.