Maersk, the end-to-end transport and logistics company and the biggest food transporter in the world, is currently accepting applications from agrifood tech startups for the second edition of its equity-free venture program, FoodTrack by Maersk. The focal point of the program is to identify startups with solutions to tackle food loss and improve efficiency across food value chains for a potential investment from the company’s venture arm Maersk Growth.
Ten selected startups will receive a travel and accommodation grant to participate in the program, which runs for four weeks in Copenhagen at the office of Maersk Growth. And the second edition of FoodTrack by Maersk will put extra emphasis on connecting the startups to relevant partners and experts as this proved particularly valuable for the startups in first edition.
Maersk Growth has been actively investing in agrifood tech startups in the last couple of months, recently announcing two investments in startups with solutions that will improve the efficiency in food value chains and drive down food loss. TeleSense, a grain monitoring IoT platform that detects nonoptimal storage conditions and reduce spoilage, raised $6.5 million at Series A as Maersk’s first agtech investment. And Ripe.io, a startup using blockchain technology to create a digital bridge enabling transparency, trust, and honesty for food producers, distributors, and consumers across the supply chain, raised $2.4 million in seed funding with Maersk leading the round.
““The purpose of FoodTrack is not to offer training; it’s us investing. During the program we use the opportunity of having four weeks together with the startups to consider team, solution, fit with Maersk and several other aspects – all forming part of our investment due diligence and decision-making process. This process is unique and enables both parties to become comfortable with what each party brings to the table in an investment,” saysPeter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Venture Partner at Maersk Growth.
The program was developed together with the Dutch multi-vertical accelerator Rockstart, and provides startups with exclusive access to Maersk leaders, industry experts as well as the company’s network of partners & suppliers to help develop and validate their technology & business models. At the end of the program, the startups get the chance to pitch for an equity investment and partnership with Maersk Growth.
AgFunder Co-Investment Fund III is now open for investment. Closing June 15, Spots are limited.
The program runs from November 14 to December 13 and applications are open until Sunday September 30, 2018.
Building on learnings from the first FoodTrack program
Maersk Growth is building on the learnings from the first FoodTrack program, which ran in June this year and enrolled 10 startups from 10 different countries, each working on various solutions and technologies along the food value chain from farm to distribution to attack the problem of large-scale food waste.
The program consists of investor readiness sessions, where mentors support the startups in highlighting the market need, value proposition as well as business model and capital allocation strategy that will prepare the startups for the investor pitch during the demo day at the end of the program.
Connecting the startups to relevant partners and experts will be a key part of the program after feedback from first edition startups emphasized the value of that feature.
“What stands out and helped me most at FoodTrack were the speed meetings with Maersk and non-Maersk professionals. It was useful to get the insights of these experienced industry professionals into the technology and service we seek to deliver,” said Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, CEO of ColdHubs, the Nigerian startup manufacturing solar powered small sized cold storage for smallholder farmers, participant in the first edition of FoodTrack.
Technologies interesting to Maersk include farm management solutions, packaging and preservation methods, improved information systems encouraging more transparency and information sharing across the supply chain, food condition tracking and analysis to determine if something is spoiling across the whole value chain, and new market opportunities where farmers and stakeholders can redistribute surplus produce.
This is your chance to be in the running to be selected for FoodTrack by Maersk and secure investment from a strong, multinational partner.
*This article was sponsored by Maersk.