EIT Food’s COVID-19 Bridge Fund invests over €5 million to support 13 innovative agrifood startups
New announcement reflects EIT Food’s status as one of Europe’s most active agrifood investors
EIT Food will invest €5.4 million in 13 high-impact agrifood startups during the COVID-19 crisis, it has announced today. A total of €4.088M will come from the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, and €1.3M of additional funds has been provided by EIT Food to give much-needed extra support to ventures throughout the pandemic.
The aim of the investments is to help ventures adapt to COVID-19, to continue critical innovation to transform our food systems and to bridge the gap towards their next investment round. As part of the EIT’s €60M Crisis Response Initiative, the COVID-19 Bridge Fund directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The selected startups cover a range of sectors with vast potential to create positive change, including alternative proteins, sustainable agriculture, targeted nutrition and circular food systems. A pipeline of 74 companies from 19 countries - including Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Israel, the UK and Poland – were closely analysed, of which 13 were chosen to be part of EIT Food’s investment portfolio. The 13 selected startups are: Agritask (IL), Alberts (BE), Antofénol (FR), Consentio (ES), Eatch (NL), Epinutra (NL), Feltwood (ES), Foodpairing (BE), Food Sourcing Specialists (ES), Mimica Touch (UK), NapiFeryn (PL), Phytolon (IL) and Sencrop (FR). More details on the selected startups can be found below.
One of the selected ventures is NapiFeryn – a Polish biotech startup which extracts protein from rapeseed oil production waste streams, providing a sustainable alternative to animal-derived proteins. The protein is as nutritional as plant-based market leader soy, creating a product that is more sustainable and affordable for consumers. The investment provided by the COVID-19 Bridge Fund will help to execute its ongoing research and development activities, leading to commercialisation of novel, plant-based, functional food ingredients derived from rapeseed.
Co-founder Magdalena Kozłowska of NapiFeryn, commented:
“Our technology to extract protein from rapeseed has the potential to transform the protein market by reducing food insecurity and increasing plant-based eating habits of consumers around the world. This funding is vital, enabling us to continue our research and bring us closer to the introduction of rapeseed proteins to global markets.”
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