Peter Jorgensen is a Partner at Maersk Growth, the VC arm of Maersk Group. His focus is on startups is addressing inefficiencies in existing supply chains, particularly to fight food waste. In this episode, we look at how Maersk is thinking about and investing in a future of food based on data, structure, and transparency. We also dive into the details of their investment thesis, how to best pitch them, and what kind of partnerships they are looking to build!

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Key Minutes and Show Notes

2:10 What is Maersk Growth? And what is your role in the organization?  

4:29 How did food loss end up as one of the three key verticals you invest in?    

The problem is split up into food loss and food waste. Waste is what the consumer throws away.  Loss is everything that happens from the farm up to the point of retail. On a global basis, about 75% of total food loss happens at the points before the consumer. 30% of all perishables that go into containers, we transport, so we saw ourselves having a natural knowledge base and role to play in this area.    

9:45 What trends are you seeing in terms of startups working on solving for food loss? Is it mainly focused on data, digitization, and transparency or are there other areas emerging that we maybe wouldn’t think of?    

13:50 You invest in startups and work with startups. How do you invest in startups?     The food supply system today is inefficient with multiple handovers and limited digitization. The highest value creating happens at the retail end, but the biggest effort goes into the agriculture end.   What are the kind of programs or partnerships you offer?  

14:45 What are the criteria for companies you are looking for?  

17:00 How does the accelerator program FoodTrack by Maersk work?     Average farmer has 40 attempts in his lifetime to make a good harvest.

21:00 When it comes to fitting Maersk Group’s vision, does that mean you have to see potential in acquiring the company or that you need to see yourselves as a future customer?

23:30 Does Maersk Growth look into invest alone or are you open to co-investors?  

We made our 1st investment in April 2018 and have pretty much done one investment every month since. 5 out of 13 in to food waste.  

25:10 Do you mainly look for international co-investors?    

27:12 How should a startup approach Maersk Growth to pitch for an investment?    

30:10 How long does it normally take you to close an investment?    

31:40  What would you hope the ecosystem will look like 10-15 years? What are we missing to get there?    

Solving for food loss is about data, structure, and transparency. Digitizing the food system is the great enabler.    

35:55 Can you give an example of what a digital food system might look like?