Venture capitalists seek out trendsetters in animal health, feed, nutrition and digital technologies

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock
© istock
A new fund is targeting innovators in animal health, feed and nutrition product development. It is also focused on digital agricultural technology serving the livestock sector.

AVF is being launched by Paris headquartered, Seventure Partners, with global feed additive player, Adisseo, coming in as a strategic investor.

Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and managing partner at Seventure Partners, which has extensive experience of life science microbiome investment related to applications in human health and nutrition, told FeedNavigator:

“With this fund, we plan to invest in about 15 companies in total over the next five years. We have a capacity of €2m to €3m per round using both AVF and co-investment funds.

"We have additional co-investment funds which can co-invest with AVF in the situation where we need bigger amounts."

Jean-Marc Dublanc, CEO of Adisseo, said his company is committed to strategic investments in new disruptive technologies in order to enrich its portfolio of R&D innovations while respecting a mode of sustainable growth. 

“We had the idea to raise a dedicated fund to animal feed, nutrition, health and AgTech 2.0 given our reputation in the life sciences field. At the same time, by coincidence, Adisseo approached us and suggested we launch a new fund - that was a perfect match since we shared the same strategic vision of [how the field should evolve], and [saw] that the current game-changing disruptive innovations would significantly impact the industry,” ​said de Cremoux.

Discussions already underway…

She said the investors are currently having discussions with a few companies that may result in the fund’s first investments in the coming months.

The investors are looking at both start-ups and SMEs, in terms of the scale of target companies. They said the principal selection criteria is that the firms in question have new ideas and innovative technologies or products.

On the hit list are companies in Europe, North America and Israel, but the venture capitalists indicated they are also open to strong investment proposals from other geographies, including Asia.

“Innovation in this field is coming both from academic institutes and from industry spin outs. Our team is in close contact with many high level universities and academic institutes in France, in the Netherlands, in Scandinavia, in Israel, and in the US,” ​said de Cremoux.

Within the animal health sector, feed digestibility, its nutritional value and energy potential, and the traceability of the entire animal food chain are major opportunities, as well as addressing the challenges around limiting the environmental footprint of the industry, said the team.

In addition to the animal health and nutrition sector, the digital agricultural technology field has seen exponential growth, partly driven by climate change and scarcity in resources and biodiversity, as well as heightened pressure from increasingly demanding consumers, they said. AVF will, therefore, also look to finance digital innovations applied to the livestock value chain, such as smart breeding and diagnosis, control and traceability tools.

Funders’ background

With over €690m in assets under management as of the end of 2017, Seventure Partners said it has been investing in innovative businesses with high growth potential in two fields, namely digital technologies in France and Germany, and life sciences across Europe, Israel and North America.

In the life sciences field, the four areas of focus for the investors has been biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, digital/connected health and medtech, industrial biotechnology, microbiome, nutrition, foodtech and personalized medicine. Investments can range between €500k and €10m per round, or up to €20m per company, from early to late stage.

In December 2013, Seventure Partners launched a fund that invests in life sciences worldwide, with a core focus on the microbiome revolution and its applications in human health and nutrition. The financiers said the €160m fund attracted strategic investments from companies including Danone, Tereos, Tornier, Lesaffre, Bel and Novartis, as well as entrepreneurs and financial institutions.

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