How the European Circular Fund for the Bioeconomy is using PitchBook


The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, or ECBF, is a venture capital fund focused exclusively on the European circular bioeconomy, a conceptual framework for the use of renewable natural capital to transform and manage land, food, health and industrial systems.

Bonn, Germany

Michael Brandkamp
General partner,
European Circular Bioeconomy Fund

Eugene Kaprov
European Circular Bioeconomy Fund

Based in Bonn, Germany, the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund works to accelerate late stage businesses operating in the bioeconomy and circular economy. The fund’s investments tend to support biorefinery, conversion technology, biomass production, biobased materials and performance organic sector startups across the continent. With a target size of 250 million euros, including a 100 million euro commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the ECB is likely to be an important financial instrument for achieving the Green Deal objective. European Union to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

“Europe is the leader when it comes to creating a bioeconomy through improved research and the development of new scientific approaches,” said Michael Brandkamp, ​​the general partner of the company. “But there is a lack of financing options for these companies when they are looking to grow.” This is where ECBF comes in: its agile team focuses on bringing to market the large-scale innovative offers needed to reach consumers and achieve the fund’s ambitious sustainable development goals.

“We focus on growth stage startups to help develop pan-European and global businesses that make a difference. Transforming the linear economy into a circular economy is not only an option, it is a necessity.

—Michael Brandkamp, ​​general partner

ECBF uses PitchBook in two ways

Find sponsors and raise capital to reach the target fund size

To research new transactions and perform solid due diligence on late stage startups in Europe

Raise funds to reach the target size of the company

Each member of the ECBF team wears several hats. “We’re still a young startup, so we all play a variety of roles,” Brandkamp says. From the early days of the business, he strived to create a solid foundation for the business, something that could withstand unique market pressures and pave the way for lasting and impactful change for the future. This structural piece is still an important part of Brandkamp’s role, but so too is fundraising.

The ECBF team regularly leverages PitchBook’s granular financial data to steer their fundraising efforts in the right direction. “We have reached over 200 million euros,” he says. “But I want to reach our goal of 250 million euros, so fundraising keeps me busy.”

Using the platform, Brandkamp can focus on the right investors, limited partners across Europe with a clear interest in impact. He adds that the ECBF also wants to call on international LPs. “We want to expand our network because we want to create truly global businesses,” he says. Using data from PitchBook to refine his research, he can prioritize which investors to look for, easily locate up-to-date contact information for company targets, and tailor its scope to each investor’s specific goals.

“For our investment decisions, we rely on data from PitchBook. “

—Michael Brandkamp, ​​general partner


The European Bioeconomy Circular Fund at a glance

Bonn, Germany


Investment preferences: Agtech, bio-based chemicals, bio-based materials, blue economy, food technology, forestry, nutrition, packaging, personal care, textiles, white biotechnology

Sourcing of new transactions and conducting rigorous due diligence

Brandkamp’s colleague Eugen Kaprov, a partner at the firm, spends most of his time focusing on a different kind of target: the companies in which the ECBF will invest. As the capital markets in Europe become increasingly crowded and competitive, investors must develop strategies and strategies to find the right deals. Focusing on the flow of transactions, Kaprov tracks the competitive landscape, performs due diligence and keeps the management team up to date with the most recent and actionable information.

“So you find a business and you start looking for it. Where are you going? PitchBook, ”he says. Kaprov adds that by using the platform, he can quickly explore fundraising rounds, learn about a company’s founders, and browse related news articles. “Those first points of contact build trust, and then you’re ready to dig deeper into how you gather information. From there, Kaprov will look at a company’s competitors and build on its understanding of their KPIs, benchmarks and financial models. At the end of this initial process, Kaprov relies on PitchBook for their feedback profiles to see how a business has progressed over time.

Every piece of due diligence it collects is vital to a company’s sourcing efforts.

“When you dig in and start comparing data providers, you quickly find that PitchBook is the market leader with the best data quality. “

—Eugen Kaprov, partner

Focus on some of the companies in the ECBF portfolio

GP Michael Brandkamp looks at important technologies and products developed by the companies in the ECBF portfolio.

Prolupine / Made with Luve
Grimmen, Germany
Prolupine is a producer of lupine products for extracting food ingredients from local lupine seeds.

“Farmers can grow lupine between their plants and their usual crops, it’s good for the soil. “

Son, Netherlands
PeelPioneers transforms waste citrus peel into raw materials and food ingredients, such as essential oils and functional fibers.

“They collect orange peels from the supermarket to create new high added value biorefined food offers. “

Ghent, Belgium
Aphea.Bio agricultural products help reduce dependence on fertilizers and control fungal diseases in corn and wheat.

“They want to replace chemical fertilizers with this microbiome so that wheat and corn can grow faster on an organic basis.”

Want to see how PitchBook can help your business? Request a free trial.


Comments are closed.