The Dutch investment cooperative Horticoop has partnered up with StartLife to step up its investments in startups and scale-ups with emerging technologies for the horticulture sector.  Together we want to give a significant push towards sustainability in horticulture.

With a rapidly growing world population and increasing concerns for the health of our planet, horticulture is already a proven method for achieving climate-resilient, high-yield production whilst simultaneously minimizing environmental impact. Horticoop believes this method will be taken to even greater heights by adopting many of today’s emerging technologies, including robotics, artificial intelligence and big data. Together with StartLife, the company wants to tap into the innovation capacity of startups that are working on applications of these new technologies in the horticulture business.

Masters of Greenhouses

Horticoop was founded in 1904 and has a rich history in the horticulture sector. In the past few years, the company has transformed from a traditional purchasing cooperative to a platform for investment, innovation and development. The company invests in, among others, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) which entails crop production within a (partially) enclosed growing structure, such as a greenhouse, offering maximum protection from outdoor elements and providing optimal growing conditions.

Concerns about global warming hence unpredictable weather patterns will amplify the need for CEA even more. Wilco Schoonderbeek, Horticoop

Wilco Schoonderbeek, Horticoop’s Director Investments, points out that the Netherlands is a global leader in CEA. “It’s all about creating the perfect growing conditions for crops with the right amount of light, heat, water and nutrients. We currently have a portfolio of companies that provide solutions in these areas. Concerns about global warming and thus unpredictable weather patterns will amplify the need for CEA even more.”

“We believe startups that are working on emerging technologies can provide fitting solutions. With StartLife being the longest-running and leading agrifoodtech accelerator in Europe, they are in an excellent position to connect us with the international startup community“.

Emerging technologies

Photo of Jan Meiling (StartLife) and Wilco Schoonderbeek (Horticoop)Photo: Jan Meiling (Managing Director, StartLife) and Wilco Schoonderbeek (Director Investments, Horticoop)

Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife, believes Horticoop’s long history in the horticulture sector makes them uniquely positioned as an investor.

“Horticoop knows and understands the real challenges,  requirements and pitfalls of the sector in order to successfully deploy its capital. In addition to potential investments, startups will greatly benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the growers who are members of Horticoop. Getting early feedback and insights from the professionals who are to adopt the new technology can amplify the startup’s product results and accelerate successful implementation,” Meiling said.

"Horticoop’s long history in the horticulture sector makes them uniquely positioned as an investor." ~ Jan Meiling, StartLife

Schoonderbeek is pleased to team up with StartLife and actively seek collaborations with startups and scale-ups. “Our partnership allows us to work simultaneously on a sound future as well as on contributing to the health and happiness of a growing population in a sustainable world.”

Horticoop is particularly interested in startups that provide solutions in the fields of light, climate, technique and substrates. Startups that are interested in connecting with Horticoop are invited to contact StartLife.

About Horticoop

For almost 120 years, the Horticoop cooperative has been working towards a healthy future for horticulture. We do this together with about 400 members who operate a professional greenhouse horticulture company and with the Horticoop companies that focus on light, climate, technique and substrates for the sector. As from 2021, Horticoop has been active as an investment cooperative.