Dutch partnership launches €75m sustainable food fund

Pulsar Network Capital is talking with high net worth individuals ahead of a first close but will also target family offices and institutional investors.

A group of Dutch investment professionals has launched a food fund to invest into healthy and sustainable food-focused companies. The Sustainable Food Fund is the first of its kind in Europe, according to Pulsar Network Capital, the fund’s manager and GP.

The private equity fund is targeting €75 million ($93.8 million) and is currently in talks with potential high net worth cornerstone investors to invest around €5 million each, according to Frank Wolterink, investment partner at Pulsar. The fund will also target family offices and institutional investors and is hoping for a first close before the end of the year, Wolterink told Agri Investor.

The fund does not have a set investment period although it is likely to be around five years, Wolterink said. It will invest in 10 to 15 companies across sustainable food production, nutrition, agtech and food tech. The majority of companies will already be cashflow positive although the fund will consider investing in more early stage opportunities, according to Wolterink. This could include primary production, he added.

“These companies will need to have the potential to provide a valuable and profitable contribution to a healthy, transparent and sustainable food chain,” reads the press release.

The 10-year fund is targeting an internal rate of return of between 18 percent and 22 percent, according to the firm’s website.

Pulsar’s managing partner and founder Patrick Driessen started working on the fund about a year ago, as he saw in a gap in the investment universe. The healthy food market has the potential to reach $1 trillion by 2017, at an over 20 percent annual growth rate, according to Euromonitor International, the UK market research firm.

“Everyone is looking for a food investor but most general firms do not really have the time for this sector,” said Wolterink. “It needs more dedicated, specialised investors but as far as we know there are hardly any dedicated food investors and none looking at sustainability and healthy food specifically. That is an important theme with us because we think that’s the future.”

Driessen and Wolterink are joined by Peter van Bommel, chief financial officer and partner, and Maarten van Hemsbergen, investment partner. The firm is also set to announce a fifth partner, according to the website. The partners have worked at investment firms including ING Bank, NPM Capital, PPM Oost and Van Lanschot Bankiers.

Driessen is co-founder of the Organic Fresh Food Group and previously worked at 8P Capital, a Dutch venture capital firm.

The firm is not using a placement agent.