Infarm

Infarm

Growing an ultra-fresh food system in your city

A pioneer in on-demand vertical farming, Infarm helps cities become self-sufficient in their food production and democratises access to local healthy fresh produce while eliminating waste and reducing environmental impact.

Entrepreneurs
Erez Galonska, Guy Galonska, Osnat Michaeli

Founded
2013

Partnered
2018

HQ
Berlin, Germany

Category
Innovating Agrifood Transformation Processes


Making every city a nourished city

Western society routinely purchases food that often has grown thousands of kilometers away from where it’s consumed. The cost of that supply chain is high CO2 emissions, less nutritious food, substantial waste of water and food and atrophy to soil and land through chemical use. In the case of leafy greens, they lose their key nutrients in less than 7 days of harvest.
Founded in Berlin in 2013, Infarm is pioneering on-demand farming services to help cities become self-sufficient in their food production while eliminating waste and reducing environmental impact. Infarm’s grow-on-site farming system enables the production of locally fresh and nutritious plants all-year round. The resulting produce comes from organic non-GMO seeds, is free of pesticides and has a close to 90% less transportation.

Infarm’s technology fundamentally changes the way we grow, distribute and consume food – and the impact food production has on the planet and people. With farms operating across Europe, Canada, the US, Japan and more, Infarm’s solution grows food that uses:
95% less water
75% less fertilizers
No chemical pesticides
99% less land

Osnat Michaeli
Chief Brand Strategy Officer

We look for investment partners who share our vision to build a more resilient food system, where locally grown, premium quality produce is accessible and affordable to all. Astanor is exactly this.

iUNU

iUNU

Powering the 21st century greenhouse

Precision agriculture specialists for precision growing

Entrepreneurs
Adam Greenberg, Rooney Kyle, Conrad Travis & Erez Younker

Founded
2013

Partnered
2021

HQ
Seattle, USA

Category
Accelerating Regenerative Agriculture


Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and computer vision to optimize indoor farming

iUNU (“you knew”) helps growers apply computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning in their greenhouses to optimize operations.

With the greenhouse industry growing at a rate of 20% per year, owners are scrambling to find solutions to manage and maintain their growing operations effectively. Today, most growers still make decisions based on manual sampling and hand-collected crop and labor data. Additionally, the shortage of labor in the US and Europe has compounded the issue. iUNUs solution turns growing operations into data-driven manufacturing facilities by identifying problems before they occur to reduce loss, project yields remotely and improve workflow.

No clip boards, no more walking up and down endless aisles, just a digital binder that keeps tabs on every facet of the organization at the touch of a screen.

iUNU develops AI applications that not only optimize crop yield to increase growers’ margins, they also allow growers to work proactively instead of reactively in solving plant issues to improve crop health and redirect how they use their resources to minimize waste significantly. Their flagship product, LUNA, is a mix of hardware and software for growers.

iUNU acquired Astanor portfolio company Artemis in 2021. Artemis provides software solutions to growers to improve traceability and labor productivity. The combination of Artemis and iUNU gives growers a one stop shop for technologies to manage the greenhouse.

La Ruche Qui Dit Oui

La Ruche Qui Dit Oui

Ultra fresh, trusted and high-quality food, from farm-to-fork

With a pan-European network of farmers and assemblies (ruches), local food distribution has never been more convenient or closer to home.

Entrepreneurs
Grégoire de Tilly

Founded
2010

Partnered
2018

HQ
Paris, France

Category
Connecting the Value Chain


La Ruche Qui Dit Oui is one of most iconic companies leading the ‘farm to table’ movement in Europe

Bringing value and transparency to the food system by multiplying farmer revenues, securing and growing their market access, and delivering consumers healthy and high-quality products, La Ruche leverages network effects to benefit the whole value chain.
Launched in 2010, La Ruche Qui Dit Oui is an innovative local food distribution system, which enables ultra-fresh commerce with producers selling their products directly to consumers at a fair price.
Their marketplace is supported by a large network of La Ruche Hosts – the passionate women and men who serve as the conduit, connecting communities of famers with consumers at local produce collection points, known by the community as ‘Ruches’ or ‘weekly Assemblies’. La Ruche has established itself as the connection point between over 10,000 producers, 1,000 active assemblies and 200,000 customers.
La Ruche Qui Dit Oui has developed an entire range of complementary distribution channels, both online and offline, across Europe. This has expanded the reach and recurring revenue farmers can secure, through the platform and increased access for consumers to trusted, healthy and local food.

Grégoire de Tilly
CEO

I’ve worked with many VC funds since I launched my first start-up in 1999. Astanor’s team has brought me the most added value. A pragmatic and innovative team, they’re supportive and fully engaged.

The direct connection between farm and fork means higher quality food and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, as their supply chain is shorter and faster than large-scale retailers. The average distance travelled by produce sold at a La Ruche marketplace is less than 50km, ensuring that consumers receive the best quality of products picked in the morning. At the same time, 80% of the value from that food goes back to the producer, creating an economic benefit for producers that no other marketplace has been able to match. This virtuous circle, unlocking superior value for producers and consumers, is what has led to La Ruche’s continued popularity across Europe.

MagGrow

MagGrow

Grow more by using less

MagGrow provides improved spray technology to significantly reduce the amount of pesticides used on farms.

Entrepreneurs
Gary Wickham, David Moore

Founded
2013

Partnered
2020

HQ
Dublin, Ireland

Category
Accelerating Regenerative Agriculture


Helping farmers meet their sustainability targets

The EU ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’ requires a reduction in pesticide use by 50% by 2030. Some countries have added their own additional laws to support similar ends. Holland has enforced drift laws to protect water quality. They are one of the first countries to implement drift laws through fines, but countries such as Germany also have plans to implement drift laws with a target set that 50% of boom sprayers must reduce spray drift by at least 75% by 2023. England and France are also looking at similar legislation.

This is welcome news for healthy soil and ecosystems across Europe – and a tremendous adaptation challenge for the agriculture sector. Agricultural practices and technical solutions that reduce the use of pesticides are in demand now, out of necessity, and will be paramount in achieving EU targets.

MagGrow is an enabler for countries to reach these ambitious targets. It’s patented, proprietary technology significantly reduces waste associated with conventional pesticide spray applications, delivering important plant protection products where they matter the most. The MagGrow technology passes pesticides through magnetic fields under appropriate flow conditions and changes the physical properties of the fluid. This delivers both superior spray drift control and crop coverage. Increased spray coverage performance can range from 20% to well over 100% compared to conventional spraying. MagGrow has many other benefits, such as a significant reduction in water usage by up to 50%, extended spray windows, and reductions in labour. The MagGrow system has no moving parts, is easy to install and maintain, and can be fitted to a new or existing crop sprayer.  Farmers who are using MagGrow’s technology to date are spending typically >€100k on spraying per annum.

There is an increasing demand for food & water, and MagGrow’s technology is supporting a more sustainable approach to primary food production. While prompted by competitive demands and the global challenge of meeting the needs for future food production, MagGrow’s primary focus is on meeting customer needs and satisfaction based on results.

 $60bn is spent on pesticides annually with over 70% of the pesticide spray not hitting the target crop, but without crop protection, the world would have 50-80% less food. Because of this, biodiversity and bio-geochemical flow factors are at near-critical, tipping point levels. MagGrow’s technology is a key component of the transformation to regenerative agriculture.

MiiMOSA

MiiMOSA

Seeding the Transition to Sustainability

MiiMOSA provides an impact funding marketplace, focused on financing the transition towards a sustainable agrifood sector.

Entrepreneurs
Florian Breton

Founded
2015

Partnered
2020

HQ
Paris, France

Category
Accelerating Regenerative Agriculture


Supporting the Transition to Regenerative Agriculture

MiiMOSA is the leading funding marketplace dedicated to agricultural, energy and food transition. The platform connects donors and lenders with farmers in search of financing. Through the platform, individuals, corporate partners and investment funds can find investment opportunities that are both financially attractive and more impactful than traditional asset classes. Borrowers obtain tailor-made solutions adapted to their financing needs, whether that be evolving their production methods, diversifying their business to include other commercial activities associated with the farm, managing inter-generational transition, or otherwise.

Agricultural financing needs have more than doubled in the last ten years, yet solutions haven’t evolved or adapted to support sector-specific challenges. This is critical as these challenges are at the heart of what’s blocking more sustainable practices from becoming mainstream and a more resilient agriculture sector from emerging. The existing banking system lacks responsiveness to do this. However, interest among individual investors and consumers to contribute to a more sustainable planet and invest in highly impactful companies, especially in food and agriculture, has grown substantially – presenting an opportunity to connect mission-aligned capital and demand.

MiiMOSA’s strength is the simplicity and speed of its participatory financing platform and authenticity of the local projects it has attracted onto the platform. In 5 years, MiiMOSA has supported over 3,500 projects, enabled more than 35m euros to be invested in projects in France and Belgium, and gathered a community of 250,000 contributors.

MicroHarvest

MicroHarvest

Nutrients that feed the world


A resilient food system, using the power of microorganisms

Entrepreneurs
Kate Bekers, Luisa Cruz, Jonathan Roberz

Founded
2021

Partnered
2022

HQ
Hamburg, Germany

Category
Innovating Agriculture Transformation Processes


Smaller, better, faster.

Global demand for protein is in the range of hundreds of million tons per year. This value is growing beyond what our current production systems can deliver. MicroHarvest is leveraging nature’s most efficient bacteria to make better, healthier and tastier protein. With their novel production system for single cell protein, they address the pressing need for sustainable alternatives to meet the growing global protein demand. The company directly tackles the growing demand for alternative protein ingredients for human food, a $14Bn market.

MicroHarvest’s proprietary technology enables the production of protein using bacteria at a speed and efficiency that greatly exceeds existing approaches. MicroHarvest’s production speed is unparalleled: raw materials can be turned into final protein products within a single day (compared to months for plant-based or animal protein).

Being able to ramp up production quickly is key to becoming a relevant player in the B2B ingredients market. It enables decentralized production of sustainable, nutritious, high-quality and safe protein. Their ‘elegantly simple’ fermentation technology approach can be scaled in a decentralized way to produce single-cell proteins for different use cases varying from pet and human food to animal feed.

MicroHarvest is led by highly complementary founders. CEO Kate Bekers combines both biotech expertise and business development acumen, CTO Luisa Cruz spent her entire academic and professional career in bioprocessing and COO Jonathan Roberz has been successful as an entrepreneur since graduating high school.

At scale, MicroHarvest products can become a significant contributor to the urgently needed transition towards sustainable, affordable proteins. In addition, the decentralized production empowers the development towards more food independence and supply chain resilience.

Modern Meadow

Modern Meadow

Pioneering biofabrication for the way we want the future to perform

Plantible harnesses the power of Lemna to create the world’s best plant-based protein

Entrepreneurs
Anna Bakst (CEO & Board Chair)

Founded
2011

Partnered
2020

HQ
Nutley, New Jersey

Category
Innovating Agrifood Transformation Processes


Transforming the material world

Modern Meadow is harnessing nature’s building blocks to achieve new material functionality and properties for the way we want the future to perform. As a pioneer of biofabrication, Modern Meadow develops novel materials that have enhanced sustainability and performance profiles that can be applied across multiple industries such as textiles and beauty. Modern Meadow’s strength lies at the intersection of biology and material science, and the ability to integrate innovative material solutions and processes together.

Fossil-fuel derived energy production and use accounts for approximately 2/3 of our global manmade greenhouse gas emissions, while direct livestock emissions account for another 14.5% (Source: World Resources Institute and Food & Agriculture Organization). Modern Meadow was established to lead the way to a new bioeconomy and shift our dependence away from petroleum- and animal-based material inputs.
Modern Meadow’s biofabrication technology brings real impact: developing bio-based solutions that address performance, sustainability, and accessibility. To tackle this challenge, Modern Meadow is creating a coalition of trusted industry partners and brand collaborators committed to climate responsible choices. Together, we will launch the next generation of biofabricated material solutions.

Anna Bakst
CEO & Board Chair

Astanor’s investment confirms and underpins Modern Meadow’s value in transforming tomorrow’s materials. Together with Astanor and through their experience, know-how and network, Modern Meadow is well-positioned to advance its product portfolio towards commercial launch.

Monarch Tractor

Monarch Tractor

The Tesla of agriculture

The only electric, autonomous and compact tractor in the world

Entrepreneurs
Praveen Penmetsa, Mark Schwager, Zachary Omohundro, Carl Mondavi

Founded
2017

Partnered
2021

HQ
Livermore, CA

Category
Accelerating Regenerative Agriculture


Transforming the most important vehicle on the planet, tractors.

The Monarch Tractor combines electrification, automation, machine learning and data analysis to set a new standard in tractor technology capabilities.

Monarch is a mission-driven company aiming to elevate farming practices to enable clean, efficient and economically viable solutions for farmers. They are leveraging technology more commonly associated with battery-powered automotive players such as Tesla to build robotic tractors.

Monarch operates much like a software company. The world class team assembled is iterating and deploying rapidly. Monarch is in relentless pursuit of building not just the best electric tractor, but the best tractor.

Cutting emissions: Unlike your standard diesel tractor, which produces roughly 14 times the emissions of the average car, the Monarch Tractor is 100% electric, has zero tailpipe emissions and is just as powerful with 40-70 horsepower. This cuts over 60% of the farm’s fuel and service expenses while also significantly reducing the farm’s  contribution to climate change. Monarch tractors, when charged with renewable electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 53 tons per year.

Driver-optional: In addition, the Monarch Tractor is driver-optional, allowing operators to simultaneously pilot multiple tractors while allowing farmers to ride the vehicle like a conventional tractor.

Unlocking Data: Cameras on the sides of the tractor feed a continuous stream of images that inform decisions on where and when to plant. These critical data points can be used for real-time implementation adjustments, as well as long-term yield estimates.

Notpla

Notpla

Making packaging disappear

Notpla’s seaweed-based packaging is biodegradable, edible, and highly functional.

Entrepreneurs
Pierre Paslier, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez

Founded
2014

Partnered
2019

HQ
London, UK

Category
Connecting the Value Chain


Packaging that supports a healthy environment from creation to disposal

Single-use plastics are destroying our ocean and land ecosystems, with 8 million metric tons of plastic added to the ocean every year (Source: NOAA). At the same time, more microplastics are being absorbed into the food chain with harmful health outcomes. Plastic is also very carbon intensive to produce, emitting GHGs at every step in the production and consumption cycle, from cradle to grave. It’s time to move away from plastic and particularly single-use plastics, in our food system and beyond. The challenge to-date has been the performance, in functionality and price, of alternatives, and supportive regulatory frameworks to incentivise transition.
Europe had been a leader in supporting this transition. The Single-Use Plastics Directive includes a commitment to ban certain single-use plastic items by 2021, to achieve 90% collection of plastic bottles by 2029 and to apply the polluter-pays principle more stringently in this sector (Source: EU Plastics Directive).

With its team of material scientists, mechanical engineers and designers, Notpla has created a seaweed-based packaging material which can replace single-use plastics in a variety of formats. Created from brown seaweed, the material is biodegradable, renewable, microplastics-free and even edible. Brown seaweed itself can grow up to 1m per day, does not compete with food crops for resources, does not rely on fresh water or fertilizer to grow, actively contributes to de-acidifying the oceans and naturally captures CO2. Notpla’s material is highly functional and can be used for sauce sachets, liners for disposable takeaway food boxes, and films to replace flexible plastic bags. The company develops both the materials and the machinery to manufacture these items at scale.
With the positive impacts generated during both the production and disposal of its products, Notpla aligns with Astanor’s vision for unpolluted, naturally sustainable ocean ecosystems.

Pierre Paslier & Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez
Co-Founders

Astanor’s focus on sustainability, wide reaching network in the food and agritech world and experience in scaling up green technology companies will be precious in helping us make single use plastic packaging disappear.

ProducePay

ProducePay

Empowering growers from seed to sale

We find, finance, and fulfill grower supply for importers of fresh produce – a partner to growers from first planting to final liquidation.

Entrepreneurs
Pablo Borquez

Founded
2014

Partnered
2021

HQ
Los Angeles, California

Category
Connecting the Value Chain


At ProducePay, we are transforming the produce industry.

ProducePay is a US Based Ag-tech/Fin-tech startup that lets farmers focus on farming by making all other elements of the industry predictable, transparent and fair. ProducePay’s network, technology and financing give farmers access to an efficient market, providing financial independence. Their innovative solutions directly impact and improve the livelihoods of the stakeholders most disadvantaged by the food system.  Today, ProducePay already serves hundreds of growers, distributors and receivers across the world.

The global produce market relies on highly complex, global supply chains and is quickly perishable, yet produce growers lack the capital, pricing information and market access necessary to succeed. 
Impact is central to ProducePay’s mission. Their solutions provide flexible financing options and market data to empower historically disadvantaged farmers. Their products directly address inequities in the market due to market opacity and power structures to create information equity, income and business continuity.