UK – Sentient Ventures, a private equity firm, has set up a new £30 million (US$30.33M) impact fund to support the growth of the international alt protein startups.

The fund will provide early growth-stage capital to plant- and fermentation-based companies with a proven concept and significant traction.

Moreover, the growth capital of between £500,000 and £2.5 million will be available to startups driving the net-zero transition and removing animals from the supply chain, with the fund targeting a 3-5x return on investments (MOIC).

Sentient Ventures said each investment opportunity will be assessed using its proprietary impact assessment tool to evaluate metrics such as reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as well as animal welfare, land, and water use.

The group argues that animal agriculture is a major GHG emitter and user of land and other resources.

Agriculture also drives multiple crises, including biodiversity loss and species extinction, water pollution and shortages, antimicrobial resistance, the spread of foodborne and zoonotic diseases, and climate emergency, the venture added.

According to the capital venture, the investments will also be aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Meanwhile, The Sentient Ventures core team has become complete with the addition of Suzanne van der Maarel, whose background unites the corporate world with sustainable innovation as Portfolio Manager.

Lithuanian food tech secures US$3M for insect-derived ingredients production

Elsewhere, Lithuanian food tech company Divaks has secured €3 million in a seed funding round, to enable its plans of developing its insect-derived ingredients for food applications.

The company intends to use the investment to support the launch of its pilot manufacturing facility, and secure Novel Food authorization from the European Commission.

With the funds, the startup said it will also be able to expand further research and development in the field.

Divaks is creating a range of sustainable, traceable ingredients from the yellow mealworm (Tenebrio monitor).

The company stated that insects can provide a complete protein source, containing all essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and can be used in applications across meat alternatives, sports nutrition, snacks, and confectionery.

Divaks said insect farming offers environmental benefits over livestock farming, including generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requiring less water and land.

The Lithuanian food tech company detailed that it uses a unique, vertically integrated technology, that can provide high-quality insect protein products that are tailored to the demands of both clients and consumers.

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