Pymwymic and StartLife join forces to keep the start-up culture in agrofood tech going during COVID-19

Pymwymic and StartLife join forces to keep the start-up culture in agrofood tech going during COVID-19

News Highlights: Pymwymic and StartLife join forces to keep the start-up culture in agrofood tech going during COVID-19

Jan 29, 2021 – European growth investors Pymwymic and StartLife have joined forces to help start-ups with high potential in the agro-food tech space, starting in the pre-revenue phase. The project aims to ease the transition between each vital stage in early business development.

Given the current COVID-19 climate, the partnership highlights that emerging solutions that support the transition of the sustainable food system in the industry are still facing critical shortages of start-up investment.

“Access to labs and pilot facilities has become more difficult for start-ups as a direct result of COVID-19 protections across Europe,” Bram van Beek, marketing and communications manager at StartLife, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

Lengthy R&D to market processes are one of the drawbacks that start-ups face when compared to FMCG giants. Further delays in product launches are expected due to pandemic headwinds.

“Early stage start-ups have more difficulty than usual to find launching customers, as companies are currently less likely to invest more than they need to. Raising capital has also become more challenging as the number of start-ups seeking funding has grown thanks to COVID-19. “

Early-stage involvement Pymwymic typically does not participate until a start-up passes annual sales of € 500,000 (US $ 606,000). Through this partnership with StartLife, the impact investor will be involved at a much earlier stage, says Rogier Pieterse, managing director at Pymwymic.

“We know how early strategic decisions can influence later developments. Early involvement allows us to help start-ups better respond to growth and follow-on financing, ”he notes.

“We want to use this to help start-ups reach their full potential faster. When it comes to follow-up financing, it clearly helps if we have already built a good relationship with a start-up. ”

click to enlargeEmerging solutions that support the transition of the sustainable food system in the industry continue to face critical shortages in start-up investment. An example of an agrofood scale-up that Pymwymic has funded is Ceradis, a spin-off from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), in the Netherlands. With a reduced use of chemicals, Ceradis wants to facilitate the transition to more environmentally friendly agriculture.

Another example is InspiraFarm, which enables food waste and access to high-value markets by providing cold storage and post-harvest processing equipment.

Cohort of more than 300 start-ups Since 2010, StartLife has supported more than 300 start-ups in the agri-food sector in the value chain from farm to fork.

Examples of successful start-ups that StartLife has supported include Nutrileads, a health ingredients company that identifies and develops crop nutritional ingredients with a clinically proven positive impact on human health.

Hudson River Biotechnology also joins the cohort as an agricultural biotech company developing enabling technologies for molecular plant breeding. It mainly focuses on CRISPR technology, which is applied to optimize crops.

Other promising start-ups include Orbisk, which has developed the world’s first automated food waste monitor based on AI technology. It is currently one of six finalists in the 2020 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

click to enlargeIn the third quarter of this year, Pymwymic expects to launch a new fund called Healthy Food System Impact Fund. StartLife has also supported the development of Fulfoods, which has created and trademarked a sustainable ingredient through its own microalgae biorefinery, which requires no arable farming. land for production and is more efficient in capturing CO2 than trees.

“With StartLife primarily supporting pre-income start-ups and Pymwymic supporting early growth start-ups to scale up further, our partnership is an excellent symbiosis paving the way for the growth of much-needed systemic innovation in the agri-food industry,” Says Lin Zhu, StartLife’s manager of investor relations.

New fund for a healthy food system The collaboration between Pymwymic and StartLife is part of a larger collaboration agreement with WUR, one of the co-founders of the agrifood tech accelerator.

In the third quarter of this year, Pymwymic expects to launch a new fund called Healthy Food System Impact Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in early to growth stage companies that are transforming the food system through innovative and disruptive technologies.

The new fund will be based on the model of sustainable food system approach designed by WUR.

Start-up culture weathering pandemic PepsiCo recently announced that the ten global finalists will join the fifth annual Greenhouse Accelerator. This year’s mentor-driven program supports a variety of market-ready health and wellness products, including encapsulated functional foods, metabolic personalized nutritional advice, and a hangover-relieving probiotic drink.

In other recent developments, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is joining forces with an elite array of disruptive start-ups to develop a new breed of future food. These include emerging technologies in biotechnology, personalized nutrition, food safety, functional ingredients, sustainability and market analysis.

To further drive the pandemic recovery in Europe, EIT Food provided more than € 10 million (US $ 11.8 million) in direct financial support in 2020 through its business creation programs. Successful EIT Food startups have more than € 91 million (US $ 107 million) in external investments.

By Benjamin Ferrer

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Via: www.foodingredientsfirst.com

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