Rockstart launches second AgriFood Fund to double down on early stage impactful Ag & Food Tech startups
Amsterdam, December 6, 2023: Rockstart, global early-stage accelerator-VC, announces the launch of its second AgriFood fund. The new fund furthers the firm’s purpose to fund the transformation to a regenerative and sustainable future. Rockstart reinforces its commitment as the initial impact investor for early-stage startups with AgriFood Fund II, demonstrating its long-term dedication and support. The fund targets a final close at €50m and plans to invest in up to 50 startups within the coming 5 years. The fund is backed by The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), De Hoge Dennen, and Danish Agro, amongst other new and existing backers.
Rockstart AgriFood Fund II marks Rockstart's fourth fund, following launches in AgriFood (2019), Energy (2020), and Emerging Tech (2022). Rockstart AgriFood Fund II will continue to fund early stage purpose-driven founders scaling impactful solutions by leveraging emerging technologies and new business models that improve our food supply system from soil and ocean to gut.
This fund is actively seeking investments in regenerative solutions that restore our soils and oceans to become CO2 capture powerhouses, in responsible and circular innovations that create value from wasted food while reducing food loss, and in quantifiable solutions and tools that provide consumers with better access to nutritious food that tastes good and does good.
Selected startups receive an initial investment and gain access to Rockstart’s tailor-made AgriFood accelerator program, running biannually throughout spring and autumn. The customized program prepares startups for their next growth stages and helps them make a positive impact in the long term. The program includes custom early stage sessions on fundraising, scaling, and ESG data collection and reporting, among other valuable resources preparing the founders to maximize their impact. Rockstart AgriFood Fund II will follow-on invest into its portfolio companies, aligning with the market up to series B.
We are on a mission to empower purpose-driven founders on a global scale. Guiding startups through scaling and offering access to capital, especially in challenging markets, remains fundamental to our founder-focused ethos. We're excited about our ongoing collaborations with partners, mentors, and stakeholders, forging impactful alliances that drive positive change across diverse domains.Rune Theill, CEO and Co-Founder, Rockstart
Since 2017, we've been committed to championing a regenerative and sustainable food system, investing in 50+ startups. With the launch of our new fund, we continue this mission by investing in early stage agrifood startups, aligning with EU climate and ESG targets to build a better future. Our appreciation extends to existing and new investors for their unwavering support. The trust from organizations like EIFO, De Hoge Dennen, and Danish Agro makes us more determined than ever to continue enabling progress within the sector.Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart
When we invested in Rockstart AgriFoods' first fund, we were part of attracting an experienced and competent accelerator manager to Denmark. Rockstart AgriFood is an important investor in our ecosystem, thanks to their specialization and early-stage focus, which can contribute to the development of the agrifood market from the ground up. The fact that Danish Agro is now also joining the investor circle is seen as a further strengthening of the fund's Danish footprint, and we at EIFO are pleased that we can continue our partnership with Rockstart AgriFood as investors in Fund II,Lars Nordal Jensen, Head of Fund Investments, EIFO
At Danish Agro, we have an ambitious goal of making agricultural production climate neutral by 2050 and at the same time economically sustainable for farmers. This target requires collaboration and innovation throughout the value chain, and for a number of years, we have successfully partnered with various startups. This gives us access to new technologies, knowledge, and inspiration, and therefore we see great perspectives in participating in Rockstart's AgriFood Fund II. We know Rockstart from our joint ownership in Cordulus, and we are very much looking forward to expanding the collaboration.Henning Haahr, Group CEO, Danish Agro
Since its launch in 2019, Rockstart AgriFood Fund I invested in 50 ag and food tech startups, whom we are proud to work alongside. Startups like Orderlion (software for supply chain optimization), Beyond Leather Materials (upcycling food waste to create alternative leather textiles), Cordulus (super accurate micro-climate forecasting), and Reduced (upcycling side streams to create natural food flavors and ingredients) have raised over €60m collectively since the fund’s initial investment in July 2019.
Rockstart has LPs in its funds, including EIFO, family offices like De Hoge Dennen, large pension funds like APG, and corporates like Arla Foods and Eneco. Over the years, Rockstart has co-invested alongside Balderton, EQT, Endit, Astanor, Accel, SET Ventures, AgFunder, and ForwardOne, in addition to many other VCs, informal investors, and CVCs.
Startups can apply to Rockstart AgriFood via the website at rockstart.com/agrifood/
The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) is the national promotional bank and export credit agency of Denmark combined in one financial institution. EIFO provides a single point of access for Danish companies as well as for their foreign and domestic business partners who need risk-tolerant government capital. EIFO wants to support successful businesses which can grow the Danish economy and green the globe. We make the world Denmark´s business.
The Danish Agro Group consists of various domestic and foreign agro-industrial companies. All of them have the general objective - in close interaction with customers - to contribute to value creation solutions for individual businesses. The group is primarily involved in the sale of feed mixes, raw materials and vitamin premixes, fertilizers, plant protection, seeds and energy, as well as the purchase of agricultural crops. In addition, the group deals with several strong brands of agricultural machinery and manages an extensive chain of hobby and leisure stores. The Danish Agro Group employs approx. 5,200 employees and had in 2022 a turnover of DKK 59 billion.