It’s time for the quarterly catch-up with our portfolio companies, and we’re starting out with some great news for Wefarm.
The agritech company, which was an Index Award Finalist in 2017, has raised impressive funding for its next endeavours: With €9M in the bank, they can now expand further on their social network for small-hold farmers. Founder and CEO Kenny Ewan shares with TechCrunch that the money will be used to switch from text-based connections to digital, app-based ones: “We compare it to the shift from sending DVDs in the mail to streaming video online. We feel like the time is right and believe it could take us to the 100 million mark of users.” Currently, Wefarm has 2.5M users and has to date raised €26,2M to build and extend its impact.
Our friends at Zipline also continue to do well. It’s been widely covered how Zipline is becoming more and more instrumental in distributing Covid-19 vaccines in remote locations on different continents. Meanwhile, Zipline has also managed to secure more partnerships –– and now they’re going to Japan! According to DRONELIFE, Toyota Tsusho is collaborating with Zipline to enable nationwide drone delivery of critical medical supplies. Toyota Tsusho is a general trading company in Japan and invested in Zipline back in 2018.
Ananas Anam, the company behind Piñatex, has also been keeping busy. Dr Carmen Hijosa, who invented the fabric and went on to found the company, has been shortlisted for the prestigious European Inventor Award. The winner will be announced on June 17th. Furthermore, the CEO of Ananas Anam Mélanie Broyé-Engelkes has also been highlighting the power of Piñatex and the journey of the fabric on the Business for Good podcast. Should you be interested in a more visual journey from pineapple to textile, OPOH has done a guide to how Piñatex is made as well.
And lastly, we have current investors in Seaborg expanding their ownership. Since January 2018, the Danish state has invested in Seaborg, but due to reforms of subsidies within startups and innovation, they’ve now sold their shares with great profit. This has left room for current investors HEARTLAND and Team Europe to purchase their shares. “At HEARTLAND we are happy to take yet another step closer to what we believe is a possible sustainable solution concerning future energy challenges. We have great confidence in Seaborg both technologically and commercially, and our investment is a recognition of the company's ambition,” says Director of Investment Lise Kaae.