Tech startups which help make the agrifood value chain more sustainable can rely another three years on the strategic partnership between StartLife and SHIFT Invest, the largest seed and early-stage impact investor for agrifood, biobased and circular sectors in the Netherlands. StartLife helps ambitious agrifoodtech startups to swiftly validate their business and become investor ready. SHIFT Invest provides the most promising ones with funding for their growth and the realization of their environmental impact potential.
SHIFT Invest has invested, among others, in StartLife alumni Chaincraft, Nutrileads and Fumi Ingredients. Both parties are keen to take the partnership to the next level. With an growing sense of urgency to shift to a different and circular economy, SHIFT Invest has recently launched its 3rd fund at a total €70 million. The larger fund allows SHIFT Invest to help impact-driven startups also overcome one of their biggest challenges, scaling their business.
Investing in Zebra’s and Camels: Impactful, Profitable and Resilient
Both StartLife and SHIFT Invest are keen on backing startups that combine societal impact with profitability at reasonable speed, known as Zebra’s. Covid-19 has also demonstrated the importance of startups being resilient to big, unexpected changes. Extraordinary resilient startups are sometimes referred to as Camels, as they know how to cope with the most unexpected and variable changes.
“These combined terms seem to some up it nicely”, says Florentine Fockema, partner at SHIFT Invest. “We are interested in impact-driven entrepreneurs who are extremely ambitious and know how and when to pivot if needed. They must be flexible and be able to keep course.”
Shared mission and values
The two partnering organizations also recognize the importance of shared missions and values. Florentine: “We see that when people truly share the mission and values of their organization they are willing to make an extra effort, and as such be able to overcome a hard hit.”
Sharing a mission and values is equally important for a successful partnership. Jan Meiling, managing director of StartLife: “We have extremely good ties with SHIFT Invest. They are really nice and competent people to work with and we indeed have strong common ground – we both believe start startups are in the lead to push us to a more sustainable food industry and world altogether. We look forward to jointly help make a difference.”