European sustainability fund ECBF raises over €200m

The next wave of transformation sweeping the world is gaining traction and exhibiting even greater momentum than digitalisation. This transformation involves a shift away from fossil fuels towards a bio-based economy, and is a process that the venture capitalist European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) is supporting. The fund volume currently amounts to over €200m, with investments having been secured from the European Investment Bank, NRW.BANK, Volkswohl Bund, Corbion, and two new private investors, among others.

The €250m target is expected to be met in the near future, with the money set to be invested in 25 disruptive European companies.

“We need to stop exploiting our planet systematically by establishing a circular bioeconomy. To that end, we need innovations, which in turn need capital in order to succeed on a global level. Companies have to reinvent their existing processes and value chains to remain competitive,” says Michael Brandkamp, Managing Partner at ECBF.

Initiated by the European Union, the sustainability fund was established in 2020 with a €100m commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Since then, ECBF has secured an additional 13 investors from across Europe to provide capital contributions and expertise, including Nestlé, Neste, Corbion, BÜFA, Koehler Group, Volkswohl Bund, NRW.BANK, Hettich and four family offices.

“The trade-off between sustainability and financial returns is currently fading away. More and more entrepreneurs and investors are acknowledging huge opportunities that can be harnessed when criteria for environment, social and governance (ESG) standards are met. The bioeconomy, including the circular bioeconomy, will significantly benefit from this development,” adds Michael Nettersheim, Managing Partner at ECBF.