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Presse release
09 September 2014

Creation of CapAgro Innovation

Creation of CapAgro Innovation, the first venture capital fund in France dedicated to agronomy, farming, the food industry, nutrition and the industrial and energy exploitation of biomass.

CapAgro involves five leading industrial groups and financial institutions with a strong commitment to sustainable development and the world of agriculture: Sofiprotéol, Tereos, Bpifrance, Crédit Agricole (through its subsidiary Crédit Agricole Capital Investissement & Finance, CACIF) and AG2R-La Mondiale.  CapAgro Innovation is the first venture capital fund dedicated to agronomy, farming, the food industry, nutrition and the industrial and energy exploitation of biomass.


By covering the whole agricultural sector, CapAgro Innovation will be able to support projects linked to some of the most important challenges the world faces at present:

  • A contextual change in agricultural production: an abrupt rise in protein prices, less use of medications by livestock farmers, precision agriculture, big data for agronomy, and inputs and plant health products that are more respectful of ecosystems and biodiversity,
  • A shift from a food industry that focuses on abundance to one which is committed to offering tailor-made health benefits and nutritional quality,
  • Exploitation of the ability of plant and animal production – terrestrial, marine or biotechnological – to offer an economical and sustainable alternative to raw materials of fossil origin (green chemistry, bioprocesses, materials, etc.),
  • The valorisation of by-products and waste from industry to drive a circular economy.

Endowed with initial funding of €37 million – which should ultimately reach €60 million – CapAgro Innovation will take capital stakes of between €1 million and €5 million in around fifteen innovative companies involved in material recycling, plant proteins and plant chemistry or the exploitation of marine resources, three of the seven ambitions identified by the French Commission Innovation 2030. These companies will mainly be based in France and Europe.

Since 15 April, the closing date of the first funding round, more than 90 submissions from innovative companies seeking capital backing and meeting the required criteria have been received by the management team, thus confirming the legitimacy of such a fund.  More than ten of these submissions are currently under detailed investigation which could rapidly lead to an investment.  The quality and diversity of these projects allow the team to be confident about meeting its investment targets of taking a capital stake in an average of three or four companies each year, in compliance with stringent requirements and very strict selection criteria.  This selection, and the close involvement of CapAgro in monitoring its stakeholdings, should enable the fund to reconcile financial performance and the stimulation of innovation in its targeted sectors.

The first investment was made in July 2014 in the form of a €1.5 million stake in LineaZen, in the context of a €2.4 million pool. Set up in 2010, LineaZen is an innovative French company that develops proprietary systems for high performance wood constructions based on cross-laminated timber made of bamboo or beech.  These systems are designed for the construction of housing, offices and industrial units.  CapAgro played a leading role in this investment round and will be represented on the company’s Board.

CapAgro Innovation is managed by CapAgro SAS, which is a new portfolio management firm specialised in venture capital investments in biomass-related sectors that was accredited by the AMF in the spring of 2014 and resulted from the impetus and funding provided by Sofiprotéol, Tereos and Bpifrance. Other institutions, companies and family offices are expected to subscribe to CapAgro Innovation during the coming months.  CapAgro is a socially responsible investor and will take account of Environmental, Social and Governance criteria (ESG) in all its investment decisions.

The CapAgro Innovation management team is led by Jean-Baptiste Cuisinier and Jérôme Samson, two specialists in capital investments with complementary experience and skills:



  • Jean-Baptiste Cuisinier was previously co-founder and Board member of Agro Invest, a structuring fund for the food industry worth €98 million.  Before that, he had set up several SME, managed business units for industrial groups, headed a public higher education and research establishment and was a member of the French Minister of Agriculture’s cabinet.
  • Jérôme Samson has spent the past seven years working in leading venture capital organisations, after early experience as a management consultant.

Both share the scientific and technical skills that are essential in the context of venture capital investment.


Press contact
For CapAgro: Sylvie Conan-Charvin :
Tel.: 01 44 82 85 92 – 06 19 92 54 78

In recent years, companies working on the production and transformation of biomass have suffered from a lack of investment in innovation.  This deficiency has been particularly marked in the segment of young enterprises and start-ups. However, such companies can drive sustainable development, in most cases cannot be relocated and are markedly counter-cyclical, and thus of strategic importance to both France and Europe. The creation of CapAgro Innovation will provide us with an opportunity to support them.

Jean-Baptiste Cuisinier, Chairman of CapAgro SAS.