Investing explicitly in the future of food, Helsinki-based Nordic Foodtech VC has closed its first fund at €42 million. As the name might suggest, Nordic Foodtech will be investing in Nordic and Baltic early-stage companies working in and around the foodtech industry, ranging from soil to space, new sources of proteins, and better/healthier ways of eating. The firm intends to add 15 to 20 companies to its portfolio via its first fund over the coming years.
With players such as Oatly, Mathem, Mycorena, Wolt, Solar Foods, and Simple Feast all hailing from the region, the Nordics are quickly emerging as a key player in the future of what’s on the dinner table. And with that innovation comes the money backing it. According to DigitalFoodLab, 2020 saw a record €425 million flowing to the region’s shores.
”There’s 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,” comments It also helps that the population in the Nordic is very health conscious and sustainability-focused.” explains Lauri Reuter, Partner at Nordic FoodTech VC. “There is unprecedented pressure to transform the food system into a more nourishing and sustainable one. It is especially the new science-based companies that have a massive opportunity to change the way we produce, distribute, consume, and discard of food.”
From the €42 million, Nordic FoodTech (NFT – not to be confused with that other NFT) has already invested in 6 promising companies. Both eniferBio (Finland) and Hailia Nordic (Finland) develop sustainable protein sources. Nordic Umami Company (Finland) makes ingredients with an umami taste from peas and beans, Chromologics (Denmark) produces food colourings via a fermentation process, and Melt & Marble (Sweden) make beef-like fat from microbes via a fermantation process as well. Last, but not least, Nordic FoodTech has invested in Kuva Space (Finland) that builds nanosatellites that provide data that assist in highly precise agriculture processes and validate carbon emissions reductions.
Nordic FoodTech’s first fund was anchored by a €20 million investment from government-owned Business Finland VC. As a stamp of approval, this €20 million is the largest commitment to a single VC fund thus far this year from the organisation. Additional capital was provided by Valio (Valio Pension Fund), Heino Group, HKScan and Atria ́s producer-owner cooperatives Lihakunta and Itikka co-operative.