Five Seasons Ventures, a Paris, France and Bologna, Italy-based new food and agri tech venture capital firm, held the first close of its first fund, at over €60M.
Supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments, Nestlé, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and Bpifrance, the fund aims to invest in Food and Agriculture technology across Europe with a particular interest in Italy and France. The new vehicle will focus on early-stage companies, developing technological innovations aimed at solving key challenges the sector currently faces, from healthier food, to shorter supply chains, to quantified and personalized nutrition, to alternative proteins.
The initial investment themes include:
– “shifting diets” focusing on companies that work on tech solutions for better food and nutrition,
– “further transparency in the value chain” on the journey from farm to fork;
– “reducing wasted calories” addressing unused production and food waste at any stage;
– “increasing agricultural yield” of production and transformation without additional pressure on land resources or the environment.
The surge in innovation in this area is due to many factors, such as a shift in the consumer mindset when it comes to food and nutrition, the lowering cost of technology, the misalignment between global demand and supply of food and incumbents starting to acquire early-stage companies.
Despite the growing number of investments, there are still few sector-focused venture capital players, especially in Europe, where financing has reached €1.4 billion in 2017, almost doubling the amount of investment in 2016, according to data from Dealroom.co.
The firm has been established by partners Ivan Farneti and Niccolò Manzoni and is authorized and regulated by the AMF, Autorité des Marchés Financiers,
Farneti brings 20 years of tech venture investment experience, with exited investments in excess of $1.5 billion. He was previously a founding partner of Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and a board member of Seedcamp.
Manzoni was amongst the first European investors to back 10 of the companies defining the Food Tech sector, such as Impossible Foods, Perfect Day, Beyond Meat, Clear Labs and Memphis Meats, as part of a European family office.
The team also includes Giancarlo Addario, Principal, Dr. Rob Wylie, Chairman, Marco Iotti, Strategic Advisor, and Océane Raffaillac, Fund Accountant.