The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) has closed its first round and launched operations 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.
As the first venture fund exclusively dedicated to the bioeconomy and the circular bioeconomy in Europe, ECBF aims to become an important financial instrument in achieving the various goals set down in the European Green Deal. The fund has a target size of €250 million, to which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed €100 million.
ECBF has now announced its first two investments in two innovative growth-stage companies, PeelPioneers BV and Prolupin GmbH.
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.
Fraunhofer spin-off Prolupin produces high- quality plant-based proteins based on lupines, 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.
It was created after an Innovfin Advisory study in 2017 identified a financing gap for innovative bioeconomy companies and projects at the stage where they enter demonstration or commercial phases was identified. The report recommended the creation of a risk-sharing financial instrument, which led to the creation of the ECBF.
ECBF is based in Luxembourg and managed by Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A.