Innovation in the food and agriculture sector is a must to tackle climate change, provide good careers, and sustainably feed the world for the next hundred years. These impact investors are funding and supporting some of the most sustainable and innovative food and agriculture startups around the world.
According to research by the World Bank, in 2016, 65 percent of poor working adults made a living through agriculture. In 2018, the food and agriculture sector accounted for 4 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and in some developing countries, it can account for more than 25% of GDP.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture reports that nearly 1 Billion people are going hungry, yet as a global population we waste 1/3 of our food we produce. The sector also contributes a significant share of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change – 17% directly through agricultural activities and an additional 7-14% through land use changes.
To move forward the industry much shift, consumer habits must shift, and policy must shift. These shifts can only happen through intelligent investments by both the private and public sectors. The impact investors below are looking at all aspects of the food and agriculture sector to determine the inefficiencies and the potential sustainable opportunities for ethical disruption.
Purple Orange Ventures (POV) is an impact seed fund based in Berlin backing early-stage teams leveraging science and technology to remove animals from the global food system. The POV portfolio includes Mission Barns, Wild Earth and NovoNutrients. The fund was started by Gary Lin, an American entrepreneur who scaled his previous tech company (headquartered in Berlin) to 300 employees and $100M in revenue with no outside financing. He successfully sold his company and now exclusively focuses on supporting mission-driven founders devoted to building a sustainable food future.
Future Food Co. is a scale-up accelerator for small, yet established companies that provide unique products and solutions across our food system. The organizations focus areas include: consumer products, local food, plant-based food, sustainable seafood, ag tech, food tech and food waste.
FoodFutureCo helps high growth companies move from established early product-market phase to mainstreaming their offerings.
4 to 8 companies will be selected to participate in each cohort. Cohort companies will receive an investment of up to $10k per company in addition to the in-kind value of the program, the ongoing mentorship and advisor network after the program period, and the possibility for follow-on investment from Food Future Fund.
Kale United is a Swedish ethical holding company with a vision to create a plant-based world. Their mission is to increase the global availability and awareness of plant-based products. Working together, we will make plant-based brands game-changers on the global stage.
Founded by an experienced entrepreneur and supported by a global network of expert advisors, they are a dedicated team with a vision to create a plant-based world. With 550 investors from over 30 countries, Kale United wants to make it possible for everyone in the world to invest in a plant-based future.
Hatch is a global catalyst for aquaculture and alternative seafood innovation. Their vision is to achieve the least-possible footprint of farmed and alternative seafood. For the benefit of the oceans, terrestrial ecosystems and future generations.
After two years in operation, HATCH has invested in more than 30 companies, run three successful cohorts, raised its first US $8M fund and established offices in Hawaii, Norway and Singapore. The team has grown to 10 full-time members spread across the globe, who run the three business units of Hatch – the accelerator program, the fund and the innovation services offering.
Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they become engines of impact that transform rural communities.
In order to address some of the world's most fundamental challenges—feeding the future, preserving the planet, and securing peace—we need to focus on 2.5 billion people. That's the number who are dependent on small-scale farming for their livelihoods. Many of them are feeding the rest of the world, yet they are not getting enough to eat. Many live hundreds of miles from accessible markets, without the roads to reach them.
Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises that support these smallholder farmers. The organization seeks out enterprises whose credit needs are too big for microfinance and too small or risky for commercial banks. They provide loans ranging from about $200,000 to $2 million specially tailored to harvest and sales cycles.
The focus of Fynd Ocean Ventures is healthy & sustainable ocean food, improved utilisation of ocean resources and data to support decision making. Everything through an impact lens.
In 2020 a group of leaders joined forces to build the world’s leading fund manager for the sustainable ocean economy. They now invest in commercially investable ocean ventures at the growth stage, with clear exit strategies.
Feed the planet in a healthy and sustainable way
Aqua-Spark is a global investment fund based in the Netherlands that makes investments in sustainable aquaculture businesses that generate investment returns, while creating positive social and environmental impact. The fund invests in small to medium enterprises that are working towards the production of safe, accessible aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish and plants, in a way that does not harm the health of the planet
Aqua-Spark believes that committing to a long-term vision is the way to realize effective and lasting impact results. When it comes to investments, the organization does not seek quick exits; instead, they look for entrepreneurs who strive to build and scale toward the future, who see their business as major economic opportunities that can also help solve looming environmental and food security challenges over the long-term.