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Milltrust Ventures and Earth First Food Ventures launch Smart Protein Fund to target alternative protein technology

February 7, 2023

Milltrust Ventures, the venture investment arm of Milltrust International, co-headquartered in London and Singapore, has announced the launch of the Smart Protein Fund, in partnership with Earth First Food Ventures (EFFV), a specialist food-tech venture capital platform with a presence in Switzerland, the USA, India, Brazil, and Greece. This fund will invest in alternative proteins, combining Milltrust’s considerable experience in sustainability investment with EFFV’s deep knowledge of the alternative proteins sector.

The Smart Protein Fund will seek to disrupt the world's largest industry – food – by channeling climate capital toward scaling Smart Protein companies for a cleaner, healthier end-product, produced locally for local consumption. Portfolio companies will have a significantly lower carbon footprint and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while at the same time providing attractive returns in a fast-growing industry driven by innovative technologies. The Smart Protein Fund will invest in the leading alternative protein companies of tomorrow focused on plant-based proteins, cultivated meat, and fermentation technologies, as well as the infrastructure that will help scale this growing industry.

“Few sectors offer the growth opportunity of a total disruption of the human food chain, as we seek to address the rapidly growing demand for a protein-based diet across the globe, coupled with the need to scale in a way that doesn’t deplete the Earth’s finite resources,” commented Simon Hopkins, CEO of Milltrust International Group.

“We are delighted to build on our successful investment in Roslin Technologies, which will set the course for the types of investments we have identified for our new Smart Protein Fund in partnership with Earth Food First Ventures. Timing is everything and investments in this growing industry are being repriced as commercial viability becomes a reality. Its continued acceleration, moving from R&D to growth at scale, will allow us to produce healthier, lower impact proteins in line with accelerating demand."

This fund builds on Milltrust’s first investment in alternative protein in 2016, when the firm provided seed capital and helped found Roslin Technologies, an Edinburgh-based food and agtech company focused on disruptive biotechnologies with core capabilities in developing and commercializing research in the nascent global cultivated meat industry. The Smart Protein Fund will draw on Milltrust’s considerable experience in this sector along with climate tech and sustainability more broadly.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Milltrust International for the launch of the Smart Protein Fund, following the firm’s decade of investing in sustainability across their portfolios," added Brian Ruszczyk, CEO of Earth First Food Ventures. "The benefits of alternative proteins are clear – healthier diets, lower carbon emissions, and fewer concerns about the ethics of intensive animal farming. By 2035, alternative proteins will very likely capture 11% of the global protein market through organic growth, as consumers, companies, and investors push the values of ESG and parity. And we predict the market for alternatives to meat, especially chicken and seafood, could increase significantly higher still, rising from 2% of total protein consumption in 2020 to more than 20% by 2035, with government support which we are beginning to see today."

“It’s often conveniently forgotten that the food industry represents 26% of global GHG emissions, more than all forms of transport combined," concluded Alexander Kalis, Managing Partner at Milltrust International. "Time is of the essence if we are to reach our net-zero imperatives. At Milltrust, we are proud once again to be tackling another key GHG contributor by offering impactful investment-based solutions in the alternative proteins sector while offering tremendous scope for returns for our investors”.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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