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Bioeconomy investors ECBF hits first close for €250m-targeting fundraise and announce two deals.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Commission and ECBF Management GmbH has today announced the first closing of €82 million of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), the first equity fund exclusively focused on the bioeconomy and the circular bioeconomy in the EU and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. The fund has a target size of €250 million.

The EIB, the fund’s anchor investor, invested an initial €65 million into the fund and has committed a total of €100 million to the fund, backed by InnovFin – EU finance for Innovators, an initiative of the EIB Group and the European Commission to facilitate access to finance for innovation and research through financing tools and advisory services. The remainder of the first closing was committed by private investors.

Michael Brandkamp, Head of ECBF, said on the announcement: “We appreciate the trust the European Commission, the EIB and the private LPs have given ECBF’s team… Our fund will drive the scale-up of innovative bioeconomy companies to have a significant impact on sustainability thereby providing attractive returns for its investors. It will be a privilege and honour for us to play an active role in the European Bioeconomy´s ecosystem working together with other investors and pan-European as well as regional bioeconomy networks. Currently, we see significant interest in our fund which remains open for new investors until August 2021.”

The new fund provides equity investment to innovative growth-stage bioeconomy and circular bioeconomy companies and projects. The ECBF aims to fill an important financing gap in this area by mobilising public and private investments to scale up innovative bio-based companies and projects with high potential for innovation and excellence.

The fund made its first investments in:

  • PeelPioneers a Dutch company which uses a pioneering technology to turn waste from orange peels into essential oils, flavourings and fragrances, dietary fibre, and animal feed,
  • Prolupin, a producer of high-quality proteins which are turned into dairy alternatives, currently marketed in Germany under the brand name “Made with Luv”.

Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President, said: “The circular bioeconomy is particularly important for developing sustainable and low-carbon chemicals, materials, products and energy, but this will require scaling-up innovation and investments.

And  Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth added: “The Bioeconomy is essential to address the European Green Deal’s climate and environmental-related challenges. It has the potential to drive the competitiveness, sustainable growth and renewal of our industries and to modernise our primary production systems. To be successful, the European bioeconomy needs to have sustainability and circularity at its heart. But it also needs investments.”

You may also be interested in… 

Read: BIC links up with CoR to launch new bio-based investment platform.

Read: EXCLUSIVE: European bio-based sector sets out 2050 vision for a circular bio-society.

Read: Canada and Italy promote national bioeconomy strategies.

Watch: WBM Connect #5: Finance and investments –what’s right for you? 

Read: Bio-based industry gives lukewarm response to UK’s first bio-economy strategy.



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