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Portfolio News and Updates: February 2024

E. Bader
February 27, 2024

Springing Forward into March Events

As we enter the last days of the winter months, The Nest is looking ahead to a busy spring. The full calendar starts with the Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum (RFSI) Europe on Wednesday, February 28, when The Nest’s Anouk Schoors will be a panelist for the session, “A Systems Approach to Investing.”

RFSI Europe takes place February 28-29 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Brussels City, Belgium. The Nest was pleased to support Farmer Scholarships to cover the conference registration fees for the region’s farmers and ranchers. If you plan on attending the event, please use the code NEST10 to receive 10% off registration.

Edacious Named Finalist for RAFSS Innovation Showcase

If you travel to Chicago for the Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems Summit USA, March 12-14, 2024, be sure to attend the Innovation Showcase where Edacious has been selected as a finalist. Eric Smith, along with the other finalists, will present on their companies and vision of the future of the regenerative agriculture. Lucy Scott from The Nest will also be at the event. Read more about the Innovation Showcase Finalists.

World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit

The Nest’s Hallie Fox and Lucy Scott will be attending the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, March 19-20, at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA. San Francisco will be a busy location for that week with North American Carbon World taking place nearby on March 20-21.

Portfolio News

Biotope by VIB opens applications for their next basecamp on March 1st

Applications for the next biotope by VIB basecamp will be open March 1-31. The biotope basecamp is a 3-week hybrid program that challenges participating teams in translating biotech science into a viable business and prepares them and their venture for the challenges that lie ahead.

In addition, selected startups will be invited to a 12-month biotope journey. Each selected startup will get a pre-seed ticket of €250K in cash, access to research technologies and facilities, a spot at the incubator office and greenhouse and dedicated mentorship by biotech entrepreneurs in the biotope network.

The basecamp is an ideal fit for innovative agrifood biotech startups from all backgrounds and geographies who:

· have a unique, biotech-based solution to a clearly articulated and quantified problem

· preferably have (pending) IP

· need scientific support and high-tech facilities to build a benchmarked proof-of-concept

· have two or more team members

· can get seed stage ready with a pre-seed ticket of €250k and bespoke support

The biotope basecamp enables startups to:

· gain confidence through workshops for agrifood biotech startups

· validate and refine their value proposition with relevant stakeholders

· get a 360° startup assessment and expert scientific, IP, and business feedback

Apply at this link (active on March 1).

Agroforestry Partners and Propagate Plant 64,784 Chestnut Trees in Kentucky

Agroforestry Partners, a joint venture of Propagate, Walnut Level Capital and a global agrifood company, released their 2023 Impact Report covering metrics for agroforestry projects in Kentucky. With nearly65k trees planted already, the project goal totals 154,000 trees to be planted in Kentucky and southern Ohio by spring 2024. The team anticipates both an expected net internal rate of return of 15% to 20% for investors and an estimated 48,651 metric tons of CO2-equivalent sequestered over the 20-yearplan. Read the announcement from Propagate.

This month, Propagate also announced a new partnership with Silvanus Forestry to scale black locust tree production and planting in the U.S. Propagate now has an exclusive license to two of Silvanus’ tree varieties 'Turbo' and 'Turbo Obelisk' Black Locust. The trees grow uniquely fast, developing a straight stem with more than a doubled CO₂ sequestration capacity compared to traditional black locust trees.

From Intern at Omnivore to $8.7M Series A Funding

Omnivore first hired Madhur Jain as an intern in 2013. That bright intern went on to found Vahara, a carbon credit offering for smallholder farms in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Kenya. Omnivore led the pre-seed and seed rounds and contributed to the latest Series A funding. Vahara just launched in 2022 but has already issued more than 230,000 carbon credits, a testament to the value of mentoring and relationships to fuel positive impact.

AgricArbon Presented at Dairy Tech 2024

Dr. Harry Kamilaris of Agricarbon presented on soil carbon analysis at the Dairy Tech 2024 event. His talk covered the complexities of accurately measuring soil carbon, the challenges faced, and how Agricarbon’s solution addresses these issues. View a recording of the presentation.

Agricarbon’s latest post explains the importance of assessing soil carbon by sampling beyond 30 cm depth, as up to 50% of soil carbon stocks can be found at 30-60 cm.

Monarch Earns Top 100 Recognition

Monarch Tractor has been named to World Future Awards (WFA) Top 100 Next Generation Companies 2023 for its contributions and advancements in AgTech.

Buoyant Ventures Releases Trend Predictions for 2024

From climate alarms around permafrost and continued stress for insurers to the growing opportunity of carbon insetting projects, Buoyant’s trend report is a must-read.

Trace Genomics Raises $10.5M in Series B Funding

S2G Ventures, Ajax Strategies, and new investor Rabo Ventures led the oversubscribed Series B funding round. Trace Genomics says they will use the capital to help expand commercial growth and market.

The Nest Journal

February’s Journal posts include a look at the $53billion market to upcycle food “waste” into high value ingredients and additives. Such strategies are just the beginning for a burgeoning “bioeconomy.” The Journal post highlights The Nest portfolio investment, Atomo Coffee.

Media and Posts

Antler Bio Develops Video Explainer for Epiherd and the Dairy Industry

Antler Bio presented a case study of their epigenomics solution at the October Open House event. Since October, the team launched a video explainer of the potential of epigenomics to transform the dairy industry.

Walden Bank Dives into Details of Its Newest Partner, Shellfish Hatchery A.R.C.

That’s a lot of clams! Walden Bank’s lending to Shellfish Hatchery A.R.C. enables the hatchery to update its operations and continue to grow seed oysters and clams for Cape Cod fisheries.

Atomo Coffee

Grounds Up featured Atomo as an adaptive measure to ensure ongoing coffee supply despite climate threat.


Farm for Good

Farm for Good’s support for transition to agroecological practices was featured in a farmer interview in website (French).

Recap of the Water Series

Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food posted a recap of its insightful Water Series podcasts on LinkedIn. The Nest supported the series, including an interview with Alpha Lo that was the organization’s most listened to podcast for 2023.


Buoyant Venture’s investment, Raptor Maps is looking for a summer intern in software engineering.

Trace Genomics is hiring for a Backend Engineer, Instrumentation Technician, and Soil Microbiome Scientist.

Walden Mutual is hiring for a Compliance Officer and looking for a contract developer for social and environmental impact metrics.

Atomo Coffee is looking for a Product Marketing Manager.

Monarch Tractor has several openings including Senior Manager, Product Hardware, and Partnership Manager.

From the Farm

With the spring months beginning, the team at Domaine de Graux will begin the busy season of preparing fields and planting. One of the biggest myths is that life is slow on farms in winter. At Domaine de Graux, winter is a time of preparation and planning. Livestock still need tending and equipment and buildings must be maintained. The team plans for the vegetables to plant and crop rotations in the growing season, books events for the season, and builds the market for their products.