Five Seasons Ventures has announced that it has closed its first VC fund at €60 million to invest in early stage European food and agritech startups.
The new Paris-based firm will target startups working on new food products, processes, and supply chain challenges. Backers in the fund include the European Investment Fund, Nestlé, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento, and Bpifrance.
Food and agritech is an area that is garnering more and more attention with global investment reaching $10.1 billion in 2017, up 29% from the year before.
According to Five Seasons, which is led by partners Ivan Farneti (previously of Seedcamp) and Niccolò Manzoni (formerly of Coller Capital), there is a lack of dedicated food and agritech investors in Europe.
“In 2018, the opportunity for venture investing in food tech reminds me of where software and the internet were back in 1997, when a huge wave of innovation was not yet met by an adequate supply of capital,” said Farneti. “This is the time to invest in this sector bringing together institutional capital and the venture investor mindset.”
“Increasingly we are seeing consumers become more conscious about their nutrition, on everything from the reduction of salt, saturated fats and sugar, to personalised nutrition and the benefits of understanding our gut microbiota,” added Manzoni. “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.”