ECBF Management GmbH announced today the final close of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), raising €300 million for the late-stage bioeconomy-focused venture fund, surpassing the fund’s initial €250 million target.
The ECBF was initiated by the European Commission, and launched in 2020 with a pledge of €100 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The fund aims to support the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based circular economy, investing in enabling technologies, circular business models, and sustainable, bio-based products. The fund targets late-stage bioeconomy companies across Europe with high potential for innovation, favourable returns, and sustainable impact, and is aimed at addressing the challenge of providing capital to unlock the economic potential of the bioeconomy and circular bioeconomy.
Key investment areas for the fund include blue economy & fishery, agro, farming & forestry, basic materials & chemicals, packaging, nutrition and home & personal care. The fund’s portfolio holdings include companies such as Aphea.Bio, which develops next-generation biological products based on naturally occurring microorganisms, reducing fertilizer application and controlling fungal diseases for crops, and Peel Pioneers, which provides a circular solution for often-discarded fruit peels, for use as raw materials for food and non-food manufacturers.
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.”
New investors in the fund include German development agency Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, insurance company Allianz France, Dutch investment agency Invest NL, GC Ventures, and fragrance and flavor company Firmenich.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of ECBF, Michael Brandkamp, said:
“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. Many European founders have enormous potential to help ride the wave of the Bio Revolution, and we will do our utmost to support them. This is the only way we can significantly support a sustainable economy – and thus a secure future for all.”