DGAP-News: ECBF Management GmbH / Key word(s): Funds/Funds
- Launch of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), the first venture fund exclusively dedicated to the bioeconomy and the circular bioeconomy in Europe
- The ECBF closes its first round with €82 million in commitments from EIB, PreZero, Corbion, and the Hettich family office, to provide financing to innovative growth-stage companies and projects
- First investments made: PeelPioneers B.V. is valorising orange peel, whereas Prolupin GmbH is focused on plant-based protein and dairy-alternatives.
Bonn (Germany), October 1st, 2020 - ECBF Management GmbH today announces the first closing of the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF). ECBF is the first venture fund exclusively focused on the bioeconomy and the circular bioeconomy in Europe. With a target size of €250 million, to which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed €100 million, ECBF will be an important financial instrument in achieving the European Green Deal goals of making Europe climate neutral by 2050.
ECBF starts operation today with € 82 million from its cornerstone investor EIB and three private investors: PreZero International GmbH, which operates in waste and recycling; Corbion NV, a global market leader in bio-based chemicals and polymers; and Hettich Beteiligungen GmbH, a successful investor in sustainable business and services. ECBF's shared public-private investor base is a testament to the opportunities in the European bioeconomy.
ECBF is also pleased to report the first two investments in two innovative growth-stage companies, PeelPioneers BV and Prolupin GmbH. Both investments will support the growth and expansion of the respective businesses in Europe, thereby encouraging Europe's transition towards a more sustainable economy. PeelPioneers uses pioneering technology to provide a one hundred per cent circular solution for orange peel, turning it into products like orange oils, dietary fibres, and animal feed. From regionally grown Lupines, Prolupin produces high-quality plant-based proteins, which are being formulated into non-dairy alternatives being marketed on the European market under the brand "Made with LUVE".
The ECBF's primary objective is to stimulate additional private and public capital investment to scale up innovative bio-based companies and projects. More specifically, ECBF provides equity investment to growth-stage bioeconomy and circular bioeconomy companies with high potential for innovation, favourable returns, and sustainable impact. ECBF is based in Luxembourg and managed by Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A.
Michael Brandkamp, Head of ECBF, said: "We appreciate the trust the private LPs, the European Commission, and the EIB have given ECBF's team. In a transforming economy, we invest and partner with ambitious and visionary entrepreneurs to accelerate late-stage companies. 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."
Circular Bioeconomy is the application of the concept of circular economy to biological resources, products and materials. The circular economy is an economy where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised.
A financing gap for innovative bioeconomy companies and projects at the stage where they enter demonstration or commercial phases was identified by the Innovfin Advisory study "Access-to-finance conditions for Investments in Bio-Based Industries and the Blue Economy in 2017". It recommended the creation of a risk-sharing financial instrument, leading the way to the creation of the ECBF.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the fund's anchor investor, committed a total €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.
ECBF Management GmbH advises the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund Management exclusively. The international team of very experienced people focusses on supporting the bioeconomy companies in Europe to fuel their growth. Having more than 40 years of investment experience and a significant network the ECBF's team will play an active role in scaling up the investments. ECBF is located in Luxembourg with an investment focus on the 27-European associated countries.
Hauck & Aufhäuser Privat Bankers AG (Germany /Luxembourg) is a leading German private bank with a focus on Private Banking, Asset Management, Financial Markets, Asset Servicing and Investment Banking. On the fund services side Hauck & Aufhäuser offers the full service range as a experienced custodian bank as well as fund administration for financial and real assets and also acts as AIFM for alternative investments.
Corbion NV (The Netherlands) is the global market leader in lactic acid and its derivatives, and a leading supplier of emulsifiers, functional enzyme blends, minerals, vitamins and algae ingredients. We use our unique expertise in fermentation and other processes to deliver sustainable solutions for the preservation of food and food production, health, and our planet. In the Advance 2025 strategy, Corbion has chosen to focus on SDG 2 (Zero hunger), SDG 3 (Good health and well-being) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) as the goals on which it can create the most significant positive impact, given its business activities.
Dr. Hettich Beteiligungen GmbH (Germany) is the investment arm of Dr. Andreas Hettich, majority shareholder of the Hettich Group, 4th generation international leader in furniture fittings. Investment focus of Dr. Hettich Beteiligungen is in innovative and sustainable industrial businesses and services. The company provides strong financial support and international knowledge to their investments.
PeelPioneers BV (The Netherlands) is the first fully sustainable peel collector of the 21th century. PeelPioneers processes orange peels, which would otherwise be incinerated, into functional ingredients for the food industry. The company was founded in 2017 by Lindy Hensen, Bas van Wieringen and Sytze van Stempvoort and opened the world's first orange peel factory in 2018 in Son, the Netherlands. PeelPioneers plans to expand into Europe with five new peel plants in the next years.
Prolupin GmbH (Germany) is a spin out from the Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung (IVV) in Munich with deep scientific expertise and a patent protected process for producing protein isolates from lupines. The company produces and markets a range of purely plant-based non-dairy alternatives to yoghurts, milks, ice creams and cream cheeses to address the growing demand for tasty plant-based foods for consumers focused on health and sustainability.
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01.10.2020 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.