12 Nov '19
A Russian agro-industrial holding company called Efko earlier this fall launched its own $50m early-stage VC fund.
The new fund primarily focuses on foodtech investments. First of all, these are projects that are capable of disrupting the current food industry, can promote healthy lifestyle, help keep the ecological balance, and are conducive to national food security.
Only start-ups that have a prototype product and strong team capable of coping with ambitious plans and showing high scaling-up potential are eligible for funding. There are no regional limitations for the fund’s activity; a dozen foreign projects are already on the table, and inaugural deals are expected by the end of this year. In addition to financial support, start-ups will be lent a hand in sector-specific expertise, including food technology applicability and access to markets.
According to Efko CEO Evgeny Lyashenko, his company views as foodtech’s priority areas new products based on vegetal proteins (including the actively growing segment for vegetal meats and drinks that are alternatives to milk), new developments in next gen sugar substitute production, smart packaging, biotech solutions, and digital solutions for process optimization in the food sector.