The Dutch investment fund SHIFT Invest is increasing its overall impact

The Dutch investment fund SHIFT Invest is increasing its overall impact

The Dutch investment fund SHIFT Invest is increasing its overall impact. The start-ups in which the green fund participates will have generated almost 90 percent more environmental gains in 2017 compared to the year before. These include the green energy supplier Vandebron and meat substitute provider Meatless.

This can be read in the new Impact Report of NBI Investors, a summary of which can be found at Last year, SHIFT Invest's start-ups saved no less than 88 percent more tons of CO2 compared to 2016. Also, the companies together produced 32 percent more renewable energy and 300 percent less use was made of agricultural land for cattle breeding. Besides Vandebron and Meatless, there are 10 companies involved, including Chaincraft, Basilisk and Nutrileads.

Companies with sustainable technology

SHIFT Invest I and II are funds managed by NBI Investors. NBI Investors has four early stage venture capital funds with a total of approximately 70 million committed capital under management. In recent years, some EUR 40 million of this has been invested in start-ups active in the agrifood and greentech sectors. They use the knowledge and experience of renowned investors with whom NBI Investors works closely together. These include Rabobank, Wageningen University & Research, Delft University of Technology, Menzis and the World Wildlife Fund.

Strict selection criteria

"With SHIFT Invest we focus on young, promising companies that are developing a sustainable technology and want to enter the market. It is the phase which many other funds do not yet dare to enter," says Guus Verhees, the managing partner of NBI Investors. Thorugh years of experience, analysing trends and close cooperation with universities and other partners, SHIFT Invest is able to assess which sustainably oriented startups have real potential. "Our criteria are very sharp. Of the one hundred companies that we talk to, only one start-up is selected on average. What's more, we have a long track record and that's what these growing companies need. We often last for years."

From Chaincraft to Vandebron

One of the start-ups in which SHIFT Invest participates is Chaincraft. They are developing a technology with which sustainable biobased chemicals can be produced. These fatty acids can even replace petroleum- and palm oil-based agricultural and chemical products on a one-to-one basis. With the money invested, the company has built a demonstration plant that will soon be put into operation.

Protix Biosystems is working towards a world with insects as food for animals. "This technology should ultimately ensure that fewer forests are felled and the overfishing of oceans is stopped," says Verhees. After 7 years of close involvement, SHIFT has now sold its stake. In addition, SHIFT Invest participates in Vandebron, the green energy supplier that has developed a smart platform with which locally generated electricity finds its way to Dutch households and businesses.

Making impact ánd returns

"For ten years we have shown that financial return and impact can go hand in hand. That you can develop good business models and at the same time make the world more sustainable," says Florentine Fockema Andreae, investment partner of SHIFT Invest. "This report underlines that once again. Since the Paris Climate Accord there has been a lot of talk about impact in the Netherlands. With this report we show that we are actually getting something done".

In 2019 SHIFT Invest is expected to have invested all available capital in innovative start-ups. A follow-up fund will then be set up with existing and new investors. "This will enable us to bring even more new, impactful technologies to the market.