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Nordic FoodTech, the venture capital firm investing in alternative protein and sustainable food startups, has closed its first fund with €42 million. Launched last year, the fund is the first early-stage VC in the Nordics region to be fully focused on food techs, and its now set to back 15 to 20 more companies in the coming years.
Nordic FoodTech has raised €42 million for its first fund, exceeding its initial €40 million target. The fund, which launched in April 2020, is the first early-stage VC fund dedicated to investing in food techs in the Nordics and Baltics. Leading the fundraise is government-backed Business Finland, which invested €20 million, the largest single commitment the investment vehicle has made so far.
Other investors included a number of Nordic food industry household names, including Finnish dairy giant Valio, meat major HKScan, and the producer-owner cooperatives under food conglomerate Atria, Lihakunta and Itikka co-operative.
Nordic FoodTech VC
Nordic FoodTech VC fund, which is managed by Nordic Food Tech Venture Capital Oy, says that the capital will be used to support 15 to 20 more food techs in the region over the next few years. So far, the fund has backed six startups, among them Finland-based mycoprotein aquafeed startup EniferBio and Kuva Space, which builds nanosatellites for precision agriculture and validating carbon sequestration.
Nordic Umami Company is also based in Finland, and creates umami ingredients using regionally sourced peas and beans. Other portfolio companies include Denmark’s Chromologics, the firm making sustainable food colourants using fermentation technology, and Sweden’s Melt&Marble that is focused on making animal-free fats from microbes.
‘Untapped’ food tech potential in Nordic countries
The founders of the fund, Pekka Siivonen-Uotila, Jari Tuovinen, Lauri Reuter and Mika Kukkurainen, believe that there remains “untapped” potential in the region when it comes to sustainable food innovation. Nordic countries are already the home for well-known food tech disruptors like oat milk giant Oatly and air protein maker Solar Foods, but with further investment poised to bring even more solutions to the table.
”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,” says Reuter. “It also helps that the population in the Nordic is very health conscious and sustainability-focused.”
Reuter went on to explain that the fund is looking for “science-based” startups across the food value chain, from those changing the way protein is produced, to firms tackling how to close the food waste loop.
“There is unprecedented pressure to transform the food system into a more nourishing and sustainable one,” he says. “We are here to help on the first steps in putting technology to impactful use.”
Lead image courtesy of Mycorena.