Copenhagen, Denmark-based startup accelerator Rockstart announced this week it has closed a €3 million (~ $3,332,000 USD) funding round to support Rockstart AgriFood, its first-ever agtech-focused program. The round follows a €15 million raise from September 2019 that was led by the Danish state fund Vaekstfonden, Dutch investment firm De Hoge Dennen, and “unnamed high net worth individuals,” according to an article on AgFunder news. This latest round of investment comes from undisclosed investors from Europe.
Nine-year-old Rockstart, who also operates programs for the energy and health sector, kicked off the first-ever cohort for its agtech (also called “agrifood”) program last September. Ten startups were chose to participate, including ChefMe, a platform for hiring private chefs, precision-farming company Vultus, and Beyond Leather Materials, which repurposes unused foods to make leather alternatives.
For all its programs, including AgriFood, Rockstart looks for growth-stage startups and focuses on getting them access to markets and capital. AgriFood, in particular, looks for startups innovating in the following areas: optimizing processes and practices, reducing and/or stopping food waste, and improving traceability.
Chosen companies receive an initial €100,000 (€35,000 in cash and €65,000 in program costs in exchange for 6 percent equity via a convertible loan). Startups are also eligible for potential follow-on investments from Rockstart up to their Series B stage. The program provides all participants with networking and mentorship opportunities as well as access to the wider Rockstart community.
The first cohort’s Demo Day, where companies showcase and pitch their products and services will take place on January 30 in Copenhagen. According to the Rockstart website, applications for the next cohort open in April 2020.