Three Dutch financial institutions are the latest investors in the impact investing cooperative’s Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II, which is set to close later in 2023 with a target of €60m.
Dutch impact investing cooperative Pymwymic said institutional investors Invest-NL, Oost NL and Invest International had agreed to support its Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II with a joint investment of around €20m.
The fund, which made its first investment in mid-2021, invests in agrifood startups that use innovative technologies to make the food chain more sustainable. It has reached a second close of €48m with this latest investment, and is targeting a final close of €60m later in 2023.
Nicolaas Heij, Invest-NL’s senior investment manager said Pymwymic had already contributed to making the food chain more sustainable.
“By providing capital for early phase investments in the Dutch agri-food sector they align with our investment strategy to speed up the transition towards a carbon neutral and circular economy,” he said. InvestNL, a publicly funded private investment vehicle established by the Dutch finance ministry, is investing €10m in the fund.
Amsterdam-based Pymwymic, whose name stands for ‘Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community’, is a co-owned impact investment cooperative comprising more than over 200 individuals, families and entrepreneurs.
Eelco Benink, head of equity at Invest International, which is owned by the Dutch finance ministry and development bank FMO, said investing in Pymwymic was a good example of how the institution could back “Dutch solutions for global challenges”. Invest International is investing €7m in the fund.
Pymwymic says that by investing in food systems it is targeting the single biggest driver of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, which accounts for a third of greenhouse gas emissions, 80% of deforestation and 70% of freshwater use globally.
Rogier Pieterse, managing partner at Pymwymic, told Impact Investor at the time of the fund’s first investment that it sought to invest in companies making a positive impact with their innovations, and not necessarily those seeking to reduce a negative impact.
Since then, the cooperative has made a diverse set of investments through the fund, adding to those made in its more broadly based predecessor, Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund I, which launched in 2017 and closed in 2021. having amassed nine portfolio companies.
Investee companies across Pymwymic’s funds include soil biology analysis provider Biome Makers, food waste reduction tech company OneThird and pesticide digital monitoring firm Trapview. Pymwymic has also invested in French agricultural robotics firm Naϊo Technologies. The cooperative was an early investor in Fairphone, the Dutch firm that makes what is claimed to be the world’s “first ethical smartphone”, before exiting from the company recently.
Oost NL, the East Netherlands Development Agency, was a co-investor with Pymwymic in Enschede-based OneThird before making its €3.5m investment in the new fund.
“Pymwymic’s fund aligns with the mission of Oost NL and by investing, we attract capital and knowledge to our region. This way, innovative food companies can accelerate their development to contribute to a sustainable and healthy food chain. Pymwymic’s recent investment alongside Oost NL in OneThird is a great example of this,” Chimwemwe de Gaay-Fortman, Oost NL’s director capital, said.