€100 million foodtech and green tech fund launched

Manon Littek

Today the Green Generation Fund, a new European early-stage (pre-seed to series A) environmental impact investor, has launched its a €100 million fund, after an oversubscribed first close in October last year.

Based in Berlin and investing across Europe and the US, it has backed its first eight portfolio companies and will deploy its capital in 20 to 25 ventures in the foodtech and green tech sectors.

The Green Generation Fund has two founding partners. Dr Manon Sarah Littek is a director at Upfield, a KKR-backed plant-based company, and a former sole general partner at food impact investor Katjesgreenfood and DLD Ventures, the corporate venture capital vehicle of Hubert Burda Media’s digital branch.

The other founding partner is Janna Ensthaler, a former management consultant at Bain & Company, Al Gore Antarctica Alumni, and a serial entrepreneur founder of several start-ups in various verticals including food (Kaiserwetter), cosmetics (Glossybox) and software (Event).

Since the inception of the fund, the founding partners have co-led the funding rounds of eight portfolio companies, including Neggst (the first vegan egg with separated yolk, white and shell), Biomilq (cell-cultured breast milk), Libre (meat substitutes based on mycelium/fungi), Lypid (plant-based solution mimicking fat tissue), Change Foods (a cheese substitute based on recombinant protein) and The Rainforest Company (superfood protecting the Amazon rainforest), as well as Klim (carbon offsetting app to promote regenerative agriculture) and One Five (R&D platform for plastic packaging alternatives).

The fund’s limited partner base includes anchor investors Kaltroco (UK family office) and Florian Wendelstadt (former managing director General Atlantic), as well as other international investors such as Canica (Switzerland/Norway), Corecam Capital Partners (Singapore) and Liesner & Co (Hamburg) and several unnamed high net worth individuals and families.

Fund of funds such as Equation and Aldea and institutional investors such as KfW Capital have also made significant contributions. In addition, industry experts such as Susan Danziger with Albert Wenger (Eutopia), ex-Aldi chief executive Dr Marc Heussinger, Peter Dill (Deutsche See), Dr Anne-Marie Großmann (Georgsmarienhütte) and Babor (Aachen) are invested in the fund, as well as founders and multipliers such as Delia Lachance (Westwing), Lea Cramer (Amorelie) and Verena Pausder (Das Neue Land).

It has a high average ticket for a first time fund; on average, more than three million euro in total capital having been committed by just over 30 investors.

Littek said: “Our actions in the next three years will define how we will live as humankind in the decades and generations to come. It’s a turning point to a liveable future and we believe that the solutions will be found in disruptive innovations and bold moves from strong entrepreneurs in the field of green tech and foodtech. We want to select and back these entrepreneurs and be part of the solution. We differentiate ourselves from other impact funds in the space through sector expertise and a clear focus on a few, selectively chosen categories. The green revolution, which began just a few years ago in the food sector with sustainability-oriented, plant-based retail brands, now extends across the entire value chain of food products and related consumer goods. As part of our investment strategy, we usually invest with the ambition to obtain significant shareholdings – 10%-plus in companies with technology-centric solutions and accompany them throughout the entire growth phase until the exit.”

Ensthaler commented: “Governments around the world are also increasingly recognising the obligation to promote this topic both through strong regulations and massive subsidies. Generation Z and millennials are also fed up with factory farming and a life that pushes our blue planet to its limits. These generations in particular will insist on the plant-based food revolution and the incorporation of CO2-reducing and more sustainable measures. This is where we invest.”

“We rely on founders who develop solutions for the really big problems of our time. Our start-up Neggst alone, which can do away with mass-laying batteries for eggs and instead offer plant-based alternatives, can save around 1% of global CO2 emissions through resource-saving production.

“I am convinced that we can make the German and European economy fit for the future, above all, by identifying the ecosystems of the future today and then building them up as quickly as possible in competition with other regions of the world and occupying them for ourselves. Our foodtech and green tech investment categories are two of the most important future industries of the coming decades.”