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Rockstart Agrifood Launches Its Second Fund to Foster a Regenerative and Sustainable Future


Rune Theill and Mark Durno
Rune Theill and Mark Durno

Rockstart, a globally recognized early-stage accelerator-VC, has recently unveiled its second AgriFood fund, furthering its mission to finance the transition to a regenerative and sustainable future. The launch of AgriFood Fund II reaffirms Rockstart's role as the initial impact investor for early-stage startups, showcasing its enduring commitment and support in the sector.


Fund Overview and Investment Plan


AgriFood Fund II, with a target final close at €50 million, plans to invest in up to 50 startups over the next five years. This new fund draws support from The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), De Hoge Dennen, Danish Agro, along with other new and returning backers, reinforcing the firm's strong investment foundation.


Building on a Legacy of Impactful Investments


AgriFood Fund II is Rockstart's fourth fund, following successful launches in AgriFood (2019), Energy (2020), and Emerging Tech (2022). Continuing its legacy, AgriFood Fund II will focus on funding early-stage, purpose-driven founders who are scaling impactful solutions. These solutions leverage emerging technologies and innovative business models to enhance our food supply system, spanning from soil and ocean to gut.


Investment Focus: Regenerative and Sustainable Solutions


The fund is actively scouting for investments in regenerative solutions aimed at restoring soils and oceans, transforming them into CO2-capture powerhouses. It also seeks responsible and circular innovations to derive value from wasted food while reducing food loss, alongside quantifiable tools and solutions that enhance consumer access to nutritious, good-tasting food that also benefits the planet.


Comprehensive Accelerator Program for Startups


Selected startups will receive an initial investment and access to Rockstart’s tailor-made AgriFood accelerator program. Conducted biannually in spring and autumn, this program is designed to prepare startups for their next growth stages and ensure long-term positive impact. The program covers a wide array of topics including fundraising, scaling, and ESG data collection and reporting, equipping founders to maximize their impact. Furthermore, Rockstart AgriFood Fund II will provide follow-on investments into its portfolio companies up to series B.


Leadership and Mission


Rune Theill, CEO and Co-Founder of Rockstart, emphasizes the company’s mission to empower purpose-driven founders globally. He notes the importance of guiding startups through scaling phases and providing access to capital, especially in challenging markets. Theill expresses excitement about ongoing collaborations with partners, mentors, and stakeholders, which are pivotal in driving positive change across diverse sectors.


Commitment to a Regenerative Food System


Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood at Rockstart, comments on the firm's dedication since 2017 to promoting a regenerative and sustainable food system. With over 50 startups already invested in, the new fund continues this mission by investing in early-stage agrifood startups, aligning with EU climate and ESG targets. Durno extends appreciation to both existing and new investors, acknowledging their support as crucial to the firm's continued progress in the sector.


Success Stories and Collaborations


Since the inception of Rockstart AgriFood Fund I in 2019, the firm has invested in 50 ag and food tech startups, such as Orderlion, Beyond Leather Materials, Cordulus, and Reduced. These startups have collectively raised over €60 million since the fund’s initial investment. Rockstart boasts a diverse range of LPs in its funds, including family offices, large pension funds, and corporates. The firm has also co-invested with prominent VCs and investors, solidifying its position as a key player in the agrifood venture sector.


Conclusion


The launch of Rockstart AgriFood Fund II marks a significant step towards fostering innovation and sustainability in the food and agriculture sectors. By investing in startups that align with regenerative and sustainable principles, Rockstart is not only contributing to the betterment of our food systems but also paving the way for a more sustainable future.

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