Kost Capital is raising its inaugural fund to invest in European food technology companies

Cost capitala new Danish venture capital fund, aims to bring better food to more people.

General partner Bodil Sidén started the firm with LPs Kasper Hulthin, Christian Tang-Jespersen, Mark Emil Hermansen and Jacob Lee Ørnstrand.

Kost, which means «diet» in Scandinavian, however, it will be difficult to stick to one diet while working there. That’s because Kost Capital shares space with Kost Studio, a food development studio that doubles as a test kitchen for universities and markets to collaborate and develop new food products.

Sidén declined to say how much of the €25m has been raised so far, but said backers include Denmark’s sovereign wealth fund EIFO and Kosto’s founders with limited liability.

Kost Capital invests in pre-seed and seed startups across Europe, focusing on B2B inputs into the future of food. It has already made three investments: Estonian palm oil replacement company Äio, Numi, French infant company and Danish ingredients company Nutrumami.

Sidén’s venture capital journey began in a very unique place. She was in Swedish politics as a board member of the National Moderate Party, press secretary of Fredrik Reinfeldt’s government and worked for Swedish ministers.

“I’ve always been very passionate about social change — my parents are migrant teachers, so I’ve always been very exposed to justice and global issues,” Sidén told TechCrunch. «Then I joined the tech world, working in Nordic communications for Uber where I learned all about big tech and how you can scale tech companies and markets from a local environment.»

She then teamed up with two Uber colleagues to form a venture capital fund in Stockholm that practically built the company. For example, working with technical companies that had no way to commercialize.

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After two funds, Sidén got in touch with the investors behind Kost, who were looking for a general partner to help build the platform and deployment strategy. That’s what they’ve been doing for the past year with the help of senior associate Paul Archambeau, she said.

Kost’s investment thesis relies on Sidén’s political background and the idea that food is driven by the bioeconomy. Acknowledging a growing population, climate change, food waste, health concerns and policy changes, Sidén says more funding is needed for food technology.

«Looking at the next five years, all the macro trends are in favor of that, and so little is being invested,» she said. “If you look at where the money went, it’s really like logistics and brands, not even food. It’s a huge opportunity, and hopefully the general VC will come back into the space as well. They had a few bumps in the beginning with a lot of B2C and it was difficult to evaluate different types of business models, but I think that could change now.”

Still, one of Sidén’s milestones is for Kost to be «the best co-investor in Europe» with food-tech and general investors looking for a company with scale-up expertise and food-specific capabilities.

Meanwhile, food technology is having a moment in Europe. Not only do we see that, for example, higher than average investments are being made Endless roots, which produces proteins from the mycelium, but also collects more resources. This week, Eatable Adventures, an accelerator that helps create and support food technology in Spain and Italy, said yes half of the investment worth 30 million euros was closed under the name Europe Foodtech Acceleration Fund I SCSp.

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We also see greater support from the government. For example, Great Britain is sinks £2 billion in biotechnology, especially around food. The European Union has its own Plans of 50 million euros to measure precise fermentation, while Aleph farms has received regulatory approval in Israel for its cultured meat.

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