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Securing a sustainable future: EU-backed impact fund raises €300M dedicated to circular bioeconomy startups

After digitalisation, the next global wave of transformation is Bio Revolution, claim experts. Eventually, we can expect a change from a linear, fossil-based economy to a sustainable, bio-based economy in which the European bioeconomy will play a major role.

However, the challenge in bringing about this transformation is that founders lack the necessary growth capital needed to scale their solutions globally.

This is what the impact fund, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) comes into the picture. It closes the financing gap in co-operation with private and public investors.

€300M oversubscribed impact fund

Now, ECBF has exceeded the expectations of €250 million and raised €300 million to finance growth companies in the bioeconomy and biobased circular economy. Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, Allianz France, Invest NL, GC, Firmenich, Stellar Impact (managed by Telos Impact), Dr. Hans-Riegel Holding and Bellevue Investments joined the group of shareholders amongst others.

Also, the oversubscribed round also involved participation from Nestlé, BÜFA, NRW.BANK, Volkswohl Bund, Corbion, Dr. Hettich Beteiligungen, Koehler Group and the Wortmann Family Office, and others that participated in the previous rounds. With this round, the group of investors includes 25 shareholders.

The EU-backed fund will use the funds exclusively into growth companies in the bioeconomy and the biobased circular economy that commit with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) integration.

Co-Founder and Managing Partner of ECBF, Michael Brandkamp, commented: “We are proud and grateful to have received the trust of investors from seven different countries to advance this important growth sector. Exceeding our initial target of €250 million is a big commitment for us: with the necessary expertise, strong dedication of the ECBF team and the right partners, we can make our vision of a bio-based economy a reality”.

Envisions sustainable future

The ECBF was initiated by the European Commission (EC) to build a long-term sustainable economy and drive the transformation from a fossil-based to a bio-based circular economy. The impact fund was established in 2020 with a pledge of €100 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The EIB investment backed by “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators”, an initiative of the Horizon 2020 framework program of the European Union for Research and Technological Development. The commitment involved further investors to invest in the Fund.

The ECBF is based in Luxembourg and is managed by Hauck & Aufhäuser Funds Services S.A. as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). Also, it collaborates with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to envision a sustainable future.

The ECBF has a diverse team from 13 different nations and combines diversity, economic and scientific expertise, longstanding experience in various fields and entrepreneurial spirit. Michael Brandkamp, Michael Nettersheim, Dirk Saßmannshausen, Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Stéphane Roussel and Marie Asano lead the investment activities.

The funds raised by the company are invested in companies with high economic potential in the bioeconomy and bio-based circular economy sectors, thereby bringing about a sustainable future.

Christian Kettel Thomsen, Vice-President at the European Investment Bank said: “We are very pleased to have been an anchor investor of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, which provides crucial financing for innovators in the bioeconomy sector. From water stress management solutions, to insect-based ingredients or the valorisation of orange peels that would otherwise go to waste, the first investments made by the fund show the potential of the bioeconomy sector to help address the environmental challenges of our time and contribute to the European Union’s transition to a carbon-neutral and circular economy.”

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