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

Bonn, Germany

Michael Brandkamp
General Partner,
European Circular Bioeconomy Fund

Eugen Kaprov
European Circular Bioeconomy Fund

Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund works to accelerate late-stage companies operating in the bioeconomy and circular economy. The fund’s investments tend to support biorefinery, conversion technology, biomass production, bio-based materials and performance biological sector startups across the continent. With a target size of €250 million—including a €100 million commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB)—ECBF is likely to be an important financial instrument in achieving the European Green Deal goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

“Europe is the leader when it comes to creating a bioeconomy through research upgrades and the development of new scientific approaches,” says the firm’s General Partner Michael Brandkamp. “But there’s a lack of financing options for these companies when they’re looking to scale up.” That’s where ECBF comes in—their nimble team emphasizes bringing innovative offerings to the market on the large scale required to reach consumers and meet the fund’s ambitious sustainability goals.

“We focus on growth-stage startups to help develop pan-European and global companies that make a difference. Transforming the linear economy into a circular economy is not just an option—it’s a must.”

—Michael Brandkamp, General Partner

Two ways ECBF leverages PitchBook

To source limited partners and raise capital to meet the fund’s target size

To source new deals and conduct robust due diligence on later-stage startups in Europe

Raising funds to meet the firm’s target size

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 firm’s earliest days, he worked to create a solid foundation for the business—something that could withstand the market’s unique pressures and pave the way for sustainable, impactful change into the future. That structural piece is still a large component of Brandkamp’s role, but so is fundraising.

The ECBF team routinely leverages PitchBook’s granular financial data to guide their fundraising efforts in the right direction. “We’ve reached more than €200 million,” he says. “But I want to hit our €250 million goal, so fundraising keeps me busy.”

Using the platform, Brandkamp can zero in on the right investors—limited partners across Europe with a clear interest in impact. He adds that ECBF is keen to call for international LPs, too. “We want to increase our network because we want to create truly global companies,” he says. Using PitchBook data to narrow his search, he can prioritize which investors to pursue, easily locate up-to-date contact information for the firm’s targets and tailor his outreach to each investor’s specific goals.

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

—Michael Brandkamp, General Partner 


European Circular Bioeconomy Fund at a glance

Bonn, Germany



Year founded


Dry Powder




Investment preferences: Agtech, bio-based chemicals, bio-based materials, blue economy, foodtech, forestry, nutrition, packaging, personal care, textiles, white biotech

Sourcing the new deals and conduct robust due diligence 

Brandkamp’s colleague Eugen Kaprov, an associate at the firm, spends the majority of his time homing in on another kind of target—fitting companies for ECBF to invest in. As the capital markets in Europe become more crowded and competitive, investors need to develop tried and true strategies for sourcing the right deals. Focusing on deal flow, Kaprov tracks the competitive landscape, conducts due diligence and keeps the management team updated on the latest, most actionable intelligence.

“So, you find a company and you start to research it. Where do you go? PitchBook,” he says. Kaprov adds that using the platform, he can quickly explore funding rounds, look into a company’s founders and browse related news articles. “These first touchpoints build confidence, and then you’re ready to go deeper into intel-gathering mode.” From there, Kaprov will examine a company’s competitors and build on his understanding of their KPIs, benchmarks and financial models. At the end of this initial process, Kaprov leans on PitchBook for its returns profiles to see how a company has progressed over time. 

Every piece of the due diligence he collects is vital for the firm’s deal sourcing efforts.

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

—Eugen Kaprov, Associate

A closer look at some of ECBF’s portfolio companies
GP Michael Brandkamp weighs in on the important technologies and products being developed by ECBF’s portfolio companies.


Prolupin/Made with Luve
Grimmen, Germany
Prolupin is a producer of lupine-based products intended to extract food ingredients from local lupine seeds.

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


Son, Netherlands
PeelPioneers turns citrus peel waste into raw materials and food ingredients—like essential oils and functional fibers.

“They collect orange peels from the supermarket to create high-value, biorefined new food offerings.”


Ghent, Belgium
Aphea.Bio’s agricultural products help reduce reliance on fertilizer and control fungal diseases in maize and wheat.

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

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