20 September 2019
EFKO Group started a corporative venture fund with a volume of $50 mln focused of foodtech
20 September 2019, Moscow, Russia – EFKO Group – a vertically integrated holding, one of the largest enterprises of Russian food industry, providing food security of the country, announces start of the venture fund of early stages «Fuel For Growth» with a volume of $50 mln. The fund was registered in September 2019. Apart from financing, the company offers startups the sectorial expertise in all chain of creation of food technologies including access to the market.
The fund is mainly focused on investments into foodtech. First of all, these are projects able to change globally the food industry, aimed at popularization of healthy lifestyle, saving of ecological balance and strengthening of food safety. The main selection criteria for startups are availability of a product prototype and a strong team able to realize any ambitious plans with a great potential for scaling.
Geography of investments of the fund is unlimited; already now there are about a dozen of foreign projects under consideration, the first bargains are planned to be made by the end of 2019.
CEO of EFKO Group Evgeny Lyashenko emphasizes that the most promising directions in foodtech for today are products based on vegetable protein (including rapidly growing industry of vegetable meat and drinks alternative to milk), developments in production of sugar substitutes of next generation, modern «smart» packaging, biotechnologies and digital solutions for optimization of processes of the sector.
«EFKO has systematically worked with innovations for many years: we launched Centers of applied researches in the divisions where development of dairy products, new recipes of mayonnaises, ketchups and sauces are realized. R&D center of Fat&Oil division has worked since 2005 – its specialists develop and research specialized fats and margarines for B2B-sector – enterprises of confectionary, baking and other sectors. Besides, we have our own Scientific and research center «Biruch» that deals with biotechnologies (genetics, fermentation etc). The large number of high-tech projects that are not related directly to food technologies let EFKO Group practice internal processes together with talented scientists and external startups. All this helped the holding to gain expertise and now we are ready to became an active player at the venture market», - Evgeny Lyashenko notes.
According to him, working via the venture fund with startups and other venture funds will let EFKO Group not only strengthen its main business but also open new directions for development.
EFKO Group became a founder and the first investor of the fund and in the near future it plans to attract other investors including foreign ones. It aims at investing in projects at the most advanced in development of the modern foodtech solutions markets – Israelis, the EU markets, the USA and others.