News Title

Astanor Ventures is an impact investor that backs ambitious entrepreneurs across the world with disruptive, scalable solutions that will create systemic change across the agrifood value chain, from soil to gut. They partner with founders who are committed to restoring balance and sustainability to the land and oceans, prioritizing nature and culture, nurturing change and feeding growth.

Investment Sectors

For the past 70 years, the agrifood industry has invested in quantity over quality, resulting in a food system that is outstripping the planet’s resources and perpetuating global health crises. Astanor is on a mission to build an agrifood system that provides affordable nutrients for 10 billion people, preserves and regenerates natural resources, actively contributes to decarbonization and protects land and ocean biodiversity.

Astanor backs mission-driven entrepreneurs with scalable solutions to transform the agrifood industry from a system of extraction, to one of regeneration.

  1. Accelerating regenerative agriculture and aquaculture by backing innovative solutions that enable the global regenerative use of resources, soil & ocean stewardship and scalable agroecology.
  2. Connecting the value chain through the implementation of sustainable, shorter supply chains with fair remuneration to the farmers while increasing traceability & transparency, encouraging circularity and eliminating waste.
  3. Innovating agrifood transformation processes to facilitate the sustainable production of food, textiles & agriculture-based materials and restore human and planet health.

“We believe it’s both possible and necessary to scale a regenerative, connected agriculture and food system which protects the planet and supports a healthy global population. We believe that financial returns that outperform the market correlate with proactive management of environmental, social, and governance risks – and technology-led solutions purpose-built to address them.”

Astanor’s Leading Principles

Six leading principles guide Astanor's investment process:

  1. Regenerative: Soil is the new black. Health starts and is sustained over the long-term for people and the planet – from fertile soil to healthy oceans.
  2. Food integrity: Insight breeds intelligence. Traceability, transparency, fair labour, and supply chain practices will restore trust, decrease risk, and strengthen communities.
  3. Sustainable diet: Resilience rooted in diversity. The population needs new sources of food to end an overreliance on a few species, monoculture systems, and climate-destructive diets.
  4. Fresh & delicious: Quality-led innovation. New approaches are needed in distribution, packaging that preserves without polluting, and urban agriculture to put great-tasting food on the table.
  5. Nourish: Food as medicine. Sustainably grown and minimally processed foods protect and promote health.
  6. Conserve: Waste not, want not. Greater care and efficient use of natural capital, alongside new methods to repurpose waste, are needed to repair the planet.

Firm Priorities

Astanor is an impact investor that supports mission-driven companies that are addressing the multiple challenges of the interconnected agrifood value chain. Astanor Ventures looks for new technology that connects nature, producers, and consumers, and ensures transparency, fair value, and quality. The firm’s investment thesis is driven by a pressing urgency to transform the agrifood system from one of the leading causes of climate change to one of our greatest regenerative solutions.

Astanor works hand in hand with entrepreneurs to establish impact metrics and goals tailored to their solutions and build a roadmap to navigate growth and reach their full impact potential.

Astanor has defined a set of six impact KPIs to capture a holistic vision of the portfolio companies’ positive impacts across the entire agrifood value chain. These KPIs guide investment decisions, drive internal strategy and frame Astanor’s commitments and engagements with the global impact investing community.

Planet: Three planet KPIs to efficiently assess how to address the challenge of climate change: GHG Emissions, Water Use & Biodiversity

People: Two people KPIs to measure the contribution to improving social and health crises: Social & Health

Enablers: One enabler KPI to facilitates the achievement of impact at scale, assuring advancement towards global climate goals: Climate Tech Data

Beneficiary of Astanor’s Investment

Astanor has invested in 29 innovative agrifood tech companies across the globe. Among Astanor’s earliest investments is Ÿnsect, the global leader in insects for food and feed. Founded in 2011 in Paris, France by scientists and environmental activists, Ÿnsect transforms insects into premium, high-value ingredients for pets, fish, plants, and human beings. From its purpose-built state of the art farms, Ÿnsect offers an organic, long-term sustainable solution to accelerate consumption of protein and plants. Due to its negative carbon activity, Ÿnsect uses pioneering proprietary technology protected globally by c.300 patents to produce Molitor and Buffalo mealworms in vertical farms.

“Astanor’s expertise, network, and global advisors in deep science, marketing, manufacturing, and finance help us strengthen our governance, manage complex industrial projects, and attract the best co-investors,” shares Ÿnsect’s Co-Founder, Antoine Hubert.

“Astanor is co-constructing with us what it means to have impact-driven governance. It is a deeply valuable collaboration via sharing of ideas, connections with their network, and the pleasure of working with such genuine people,” says the other Co-Founder, Jean Gabriel Levon.

Values and Leadership

To support the long-term development of a sustainable agrifood industry, there is a growing need for a global, unified framework that integrates the “true cost” of our food system. The cost of food does not include the externalities of the agrifood system such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use, land degradation, diet-related diseases or poor work conditions – a burden disproportionately borne by historically marginalized and underserved communities. The environmental, health and social impacts of the agrifood value chain are simply not factored in today.

Astanor follows a fully transparent approach to impact creation, working with portfolio companies to develop and monitor impact metrics to measure the portfolio’s contribution to international goals. Through supporting and scaling targeted, impactful solutions and sharing the firm’s impact calculation methodology, Astanor strives to advance collective progress towards a more sustainable and resilient economy.

“We are continuously learning and refining our impact measurement process to ensure that, by the end of the life of our first fund, we will have all the necessary data and advanced methodologies to demonstrate our impact creation and participation in meeting the SDGs and EU’s Farm to Fork targets by 2030, as well as the 2050 net-zero target.”

Biggest Achievements

Astanor closed a €264m impact fund, Good Harvest Ventures I, in 2020, setting records for the largest agrifood impact investing fund ever raised.

The venture firm’s portfolio includes:

  • v2food: Love meat? You’re going to love version 2 of it. v2food provides delicious and sustainable alternatives to animal protein.
  • Infarm: Growing an ultra-fresh food system in your city. A pioneer in on-demand vertical farming, Infarm helps cities become self-sufficient in their food production and democratises access to local healthy fresh produce while eliminating waste and reducing environmental impact.
  • Modern Meadow: Pioneering bio fabrication for the way we want the future to perform. Modern Meadow harnesses nature’s building blocks to achieve new material functionality and properties.
  • Monarch Tractor: The Tesla of agriculture. The Monarch Tractor combines electrification, automation, machine learning and data analysis to set a new standard in tractor technology capabilities.
  • Apeel: Plant-based protection, longer-lasting produce. Apeel works with nature to reduce food waste and create abundance for all.
  • Notpla: Making packaging disappear. Notpla is a sustainable packaging company that has pioneered the use of seaweed as an alternative to single-use plastic.
  • Calyxia: Leveraging the power of green chemistry to end global microplastic pollution. The world’s first readily biodegradable and advanced performance microcapsules, to directly combat global microplastic pollution.

If you’re interested in learning more about Astanor, please check their website.