A new €60m (£52m) venture capital fund will support “game-changing” companies working on everything from lab-grown meat to personalised nutrition.
Five Seasons Ventures, the new venture capital firm behind the fund, said its focus is on “early-stage companies developing technological innovations aimed at solving the key challenges the sector currently faces”. Nestlé is among the fund’s industry backers.
The shift to plant-based diets is one area the team wants to support. Cofounder Niccolò Manzoni was among the first European investors to support the likes of Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats.
However, there will also be funding available for technology that reduces food waste or increases agricultural yields “without additional pressure on land resources of the environment”.
The combination of flexitarian eating, rising food prices and (to date) a lack of innovation makes this the perfect time to invest, according to Five Seasons’ cofounders.
“Timing is everything and Five Seasons is looking for game-changing companies that have proven technology, early commercial traction, and are strategically attractive to food corporates,” said Manzoni.
In recent months there has been a wave of interest in new food tech, in particular proteins. Footprint will look at progress and potential in lab-grown meat in a special feature published on April 30th.