The overwhelming pandemic and, more recently, the war in Ukraine have convinced investors more than ever that the world needs to profoundly change the way it produces, distributes and consumes food, says Adam Anders, Managing Partner of Anterra Capital (“Anterra”). ), the international venture capital firm specializing in food and agriculture.
Anders says: “The pandemic exposed the fragility and negative health consequences of our current food system: skyrocketing prices and empty store shelves; the realization that unhealthy diets are a major risk factor for contracting COVID; that the way we treat farm animals could trigger the next pandemic. Added to this, following our final lockdown, the devastating impact of the war in Ukraine on the global food supply has further heightened the concern of This, in addition to our focus on implementing proven biotech and digital solutions to revolutionize the lagging food and agriculture sector, goes a long way to explaining a higher-than-expected interest in our second fund.”
Anterra can proudly announce the closing of its second fund, with commitments exceeding $260 million. All investors from Anterra’s first fund repeat in Fund II, led by Rabo Investments and Eight Roads Ventures. This fund also brings in new international investors, from pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to family wealth managers and technology entrepreneurs from other sectors.
Anders adds: “There is a new group of mainstream investors who are willing to get involved. Many had already realized that the advances of the Green Revolution paid dearly. It provided us with cheap fertilizers and powerful pesticides for growing plants, and hormones of growth and antibiotics for animal production. But the obsession with yield also destroys ecosystems and our own health. If one last push was needed, then the pandemic appears. In this scenario, investors realize that they can help build a resilient and regenerative food system that, at the same time, provides them with excellent benefits”.
Another unexpected result of the pandemic is the changed outlook for the use of biotechnology in food and agriculture. Historically, this has met with great resistance from the public. But since the launch of mRNA vaccines, billions of people have witnessed firsthand the positive power of biotechnology.
Anders comments: “The growing public acceptance of biotech solutions and gene editing thanks to mRNA vaccines is a major game changer. Advances in biotechnology will also play a key role in making food and agriculture more resilient and less carbon-intensive, from fighting and preventing infectious diseases that jump from animals to humans to developing more sustainable solutions for crop health.
At Anterra we believe that biotechnology and digital solutions are the two key technologies that will transform the agri-food sector. Through this technology perspective, Anterra seeks out entrepreneurs across the value chain, from agricultural fintech, crop science, and animal health to human nutrition and consumer technology. In cases where it feels opportunities are being missed, Anterra also incubates companies itself: Since 2018, Anterra has created five successful startups from scratch. In addition, the technology does not have to be cutting-edge to leave its mark on the sector.
Anders notes, “From a technology standpoint, food and agriculture is 20 years behind industries like human health and banking, so you don’t necessarily need the latest cutting-edge technology to transform it. Our incubated companies are focus on deploying biotech and digital solutions that are well established elsewhere but are new to food and agriculture. I have no doubt that we are unique in this approach. It is one of the benefits of operating in a sector that It’s slow going: we can innovate in a somewhat less risky way.
By putting this strategy into practice, Anterra has created a diverse portfolio of innovators, ranging from entrepreneurs developing the next generation of targeted pesticides with low environmental impact, such as Enko and Vestaron; startups that improve animal and human health, such as Invetx, Animol, and Caribou Biosciences (co-founded by Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna); companies that provide farmers with on-the-ground data, access to finance, transparent pricing and direct distribution channels, such as ProducePay and Agriconomie; and consumer technology-driven companies transforming the way we choose, buy and think about food, such as LaFourche and Lollipop.
Anders concludes: “Our strategy and years of experience are paying off. We look forward to supporting the next generation of great entrepreneurs and building a better food system.”
About AnterraWith offices in Amsterdam and Boston, Anterra Capital is an international private equity investor focused on financing the growth of technology-based companies with enormous potential in the fields of food, agriculture and animal health. With the support of multinational institutional investors, family wealth managers and like-minded entrepreneurs, Anterra brings strategic and patient capital to innovative companies that are sustainably transforming our global food system. More information at: www.anterracapital.com
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Business Wire Press Release: Anterra Capital