Tate & Lyle, a London-listed sugar maker, has committed £30m ($50m) to its second corporate venturing fund that will have an eight-year investment period. From January, Tate & Lyle Ventures II will invest in eight to 10 start-ups and expansion-stage companies in both developed and emerging markets in food sciences and enabling technologies to support the parent company’s strategy to grow in speciality food ingredients. Karl Kramer, president of innovation and commercial development at Tate & Lyle, said: “We have seen with our first fund how beneficial a corporate venturing capability can be. The combination of the new fund and our internal open innovation team will enable us to access the full spectrum of new ideas, technologies and opportunities in the global food science and investment community.” As with Tate & Lyle’s first venture fund, which was launched in April 2006, fund II will be independently led and managed by Simon Barnes and David Atkinson at Circadia Ventures. There have been no exits from the first fund. Atkinson, who sits on the boards of BioFilm, Fugeia and Lumora, said: “We are continuing to see a real change in consumer attitudes towards health and nutrition and in particular the growing interest in functional foods. Busy lives, an ageing population and rapid urbanization in emerging markets mean that consumers across the world are looking to food to offer lifestyle solutions and bring added benefits such as fortification and enrichment. New technologies will be instrumental in this convergence as the world’s major food companies increasingly reposition themselves with a focus on innovation and health.” Barnes, who has focused since 1998 on investing in university spin-outs, added: “We will be looking to invest in companies based on strong intellectual property and with strong management teams. As with the first Fund, the independent structure of the new Fund means we can leverage Tate & Lyle’s core expertise in helping us to build our portfolio whilst retaining the ability to manage the investments in accordance with sound venture capital principles.” Barnes sits on the boards of Allylix, Aquapharm BioDiscovery, Fugeia and Lumora.

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