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19 September 2023

Feeding the Future : Astanor raises £309.9M in a record breaking fund

Astanor Ventures' Second Venture Fund will bolster commitment to Sustainable Agrifood Technologies. It’s a record-breaking Fund Size establishing Astanor as a global leader in its category.

Cornucopia, also called the horn of plenty, was a symbol of abundance and nourishment, represented as a large horn overflowing with produce, flowers, or nuts.

Its origin goes back to the birth and nurturance of Zeus, King of all gods. As an infant, Zeus was fed by the goat Amaltheia, who nurished him with her milk. Because of Zeus’ unique abilities and strength, he one day accidentally broke his nursemaid’s horn, which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment. 

Fascinated by this source of never ending resources, it quickly became a symbol in Ancient Greece as well as during the Roman Empire, used to represent fertility, fortune and wealth. The symbol has survived until today and is still widely used, as shown on the coats of arms of many countries such as Colombia, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

But in a ever changing world, with a constantly growing population, where humanity has dwelled in earth’s most precious resources and has nearly led itself to the brink of extinction, can one provide for us all?

That is where Astanor jumps in. Believing in the future of an agrifood system that provides affordable nutrients for 10 billion people, the venture tends to preserves and regenerates natural resources, actively contributing to decarbonization and protecting land and ocean biodiversity.

By protecting nature and regenerating its natural resources, we could achieve this sough-after abundance and assure humanity’s future.

Green fingers and Precognition: Astanor’s Mission

Astanor’s mission is to help the ambitious build a food system that is nourishing, regenerative, scalable, trusted and produces delicious food for all.

The venture brings together capital, deep sector knowledge and a strong network of entrepreneurs, impact investors, technologists, scientists, farmers, chefs, policy makers and food lovers to give rise to a future of food that is nourishing, regenerative, scalable, trusted and delicious. It is also and foremost driven by a pressing urgency to combat climate change, biodiversity loss and improve the health of humanity and the planet.

Sustainability and impact were part of the firm’s founding principles and remain an area they are committed to excel in. Their mission as impact investors is to find, support and scale the most disruptive, impactful solutions to accelerate progress towards global sustainability targets.

A new fund opening a new land of opportunities

This latest closing tops Astanor’s existing various funds and special purpose vehicles altogether amounting to circa £688.8M assets under management.

Over the last six years, Astanor went from launching a first fund to building a firm led by a passionate team and backed by long-term investors with whom they have built collaborative relationships. The continuous engagement of large family offices and institutional investors demonstrates Astanor’s success in scaling its firm and its resilience in a turbulent economy.

This proves that despite fluctuating market trends, the sectors of agrifood tech and bioeconomy at large remain intrinsically captivating and ripe for innovation, especially with the renewed global attention on the climate crisis and an increased demand for sustainable options. Astanor’s decision to raise its second venture fund at this juncture is a testament to the company’s ability to seize opportune moments for investors, maximizing returns while contributing to material impact creation.

The agrifood value chain is a complex and interdependent sector which requires investors to take a holistic view to achieve system change.

Over the years, Astanor has developed an extensive network of entrepreneurs, experts, scientists, leaders, and policy makers allowing Astanor to identify the innovative technologies that will drive the bioeconomy, with a specific emphasis on solutions that foster regenerative agriculture. Thanks to this ecosystem, Astanor invested in more than 45 promising companies and mission-driven founders all over the world.

This focus aligns with Astanor’s core values of climate transition, nature positivity, resource efficiency, and the betterment of social and health outcomes.

“Global warming is now affecting every part of our life. We have to think about new ways of producing our food, of finding new innovative solutions. The time has never been better to support new entrepreneurs. The quality of entrepreneurs is also getting better and better, we see more talented people than ever. Therefore our mission stays unchanged. It is, in fact, more pressing than ever.” said Kanira Shah, Investment Principal at Astanor.