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Friday, January 21, 2022

Nordic FoodTech VC closes a €42M fund

Nordic Foodtech VC announced  the closing of its first fund at €42M, exceeding the €40M target size. The fund was launched in April 2020 as the  first early-stage VC fund in the Nordics fully focused on investing in food tech startups.

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The Nordic food ecosystem has shown support into the vision, as a quarter of the capital in the fund comes from investors closely linked to the ecosystem such as as Valio (Valion Pension Fund), Heino Group, HKScan and Atria´s producer-owner cooperatives Lihakunta and Itikka co-operative. The anchor investor for the fund is government-owned Business Finland VC with a €20M investment, the largest commitment to a single VC fund this far.

Nordic Foodtech will be investing the funds in early-stage companies based in the Nordic and Baltic countries and leveraging rapidly developing technologies to radically renew the food system – from the soil to the orbit and from new sources of protein to better ways of eating.

The Nordic region is coming up as a key hub for European foodtech, being home to Oatly, Mathem, Mycorena, Wolt, Solar Foods and Simple Feast among many others. The startups in the region raised a record €425M funding in 2020 (reported by DigitalFoodLab).

Top-tier scientific research has always had strong support from the Nordic societies. There is a lot of untapped technology and expertise in store, not only in food and agtech, but also in fields adjacent to food, such as biotechnology, engineering, and mobile technologies. It also helps that the population in the Nordic is very health conscious and sustainability focused. 

So far, Nordic FoodTech has invested a total of approximately €4M in six startups.eniferBio (Finland) and Hailia Nordic (Finland) both develop sustainable protein sources. EniferBio ferments side streams from the bioethanol industry into Pekilo mycoprotein and Hailia Nordic turns underutilized small fish into healthy and easy to use food products.

Three of the companies accelerate the development of next generation plant-based foods. Nordic Umami Company (Finland) creates ingredients with umami taste from Nordic peas and beans, Chromologics (Denmark) produces sustainable food colorants through fermentation technology and Melt & Marble (Sweden) makes beef-like fat using microbes instead of animals.

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