Cargill invests in leading life sciences venture capital fund

Investment aims to transform global microbiome, research and development for rapid expansion and innovation.

November 23, 2020

3 Min Read
Cargill invests in leading life sciences venture capital fund

Cargill, a global food, agricultural, financial and industrial products company, has announced a significant investment in Seventure Partners’ Health for Life Capital II fund. The investment marks the company’s latest effort to harness its deep expertise and knowledge in nutrition, digestive and immune health with cutting-edge companies to bring its customers next-generation ingredient solutions.

Seventure Partners is a global leader in venture capital, actively funding innovative companies within the two evolving fields of digital technologies and life sciences. Its Health for Life Capital II fund supports the microbiome revolution in the areas of health and nutrition.

Cargill, which joins a network of other strategic investors in the fund that includes Danone, Novartis and Lesaffre, will serve as a limited partner and will have a member appointed to the fund’s Advisory Investment Committee.

“We’re thrilled to invest with Seventure Partners, given their deep expertise and knowledge of the rapidly evolving microbiome ecosystem,” Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s health technologies business, said. “Together, we will expand the existing suite of health solutions available to consumers and bring more relevant products to market in the functional food arena. Ultimately, our goal is to help humans and animals live more healthy days.”

Decades of research has helped Cargill understand the vital interactions – and interconnectedness – among the microbiome, immunity, gut integrity and a host of indication-specific issues in humans and animals. With the investment in Health for Life Capital II fund, Cargill said it can accelerate its product innovation and gain insight into the latest technologies and trends in the digestive and immune health space through Health for Life Capital II team’s evaluation of nearly 1,000 innovative startups per year.

“Microbiome innovations are now impacting many industries, such as food, pharma, health care, retail, agriculture and animal feed and health, providing great opportunities for growth. In addition to the classic financial investors, our funds also include strategic corporate investors,” Seventure chief executive officer and managing partner Isabelle De Cremoux said. "I am delighted to start this collaboration with Cargill. Cargill joining our fund will accelerate our mission to transform fascinating science into great products, improving people’s lives."

As part of the agreement, de Cremoux will join four other experts on an internal Cargill advisory board tasked with providing strategic guidance and insight as Cargill continues to grow its health technologies portfolio.

The advisory board already includes Dr. Bruce German, University of California-Davis professor and co-founder of a startup focused on infant nutrition; Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders, a 30-year veteran consultant in the probiotic industry who was the founding president of the International Scientific Association of Probiotics & Prebiotics, and Scott Bush, a probiotics commercial leader with more than 30 years of experience.

“Bringing the outside in is critical as we grow in this emerging field,” Warta said. “Our advisory board members bring a critical mix of commercial and scientific expertise to challenge our assumptions and broaden our thinking.”

Cargill’s move into the digestive and immune health space began in 2017 with its acquisition of Diamond V, a leading animal nutrition and health company, and investment in Delacon, a pioneer in phytogenics health solutions. Looking forward, the company said it sees health ingredients as one of the fastest-growing segments in nutrition and is concentrated on growth opportunities for both animal and human applications.

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