- What? We (Anna & Erik, founders of Trellis Road) raised an $18 million micro fund.
- Why? To double down on what we love and believe is the most meaningful thing we can do: investing small tickets in extremely ambitious early stage foodtech founders working on critical problems for humans, animals and our planet.
- From whom? No pension funds, no government money, no corporates. Instead, we decided to bring on board startup founders and operators in our network, who just like us believe that high-impact foodtech founders are in for a perfect storm when it comes to financial as well as impact potential.
- So what? No fancy corner offices, just two ex-founders (and sometimes our kids) on Zoom calls to find and work with the best high-impact foodtech startups globally.
Exactly 2 years ago I sat in the exact same chair as I am now writing this text, looking out at the exact same view; a very snowy, cold, and immensely beautiful winter landscape at the High Coast of Sweden. But apart from the scenery it seems like almost everything else was different back then:
- Coronavirus wasn’t a talked about thing, yet, and we had no idea how it would disrupt the world.
- I had just realized I was pregnant with my first child, not yet understanding how parenthood would change my very core as a human being.
- Trellis Road didn’t even have a name back then; it was still a pretty vague idea that me and Erik had spent hours, days, weeks discussing over many long Stockholm walks. We knew that somehow we wanted to support early stage founders who had dedicated themselves to building startups tackling really important problems within the food system, but we didn’t know much more. Therefore we decided to start investing our own money in the space to learn as much as we could as fast as we could.
Fast forward to today.
Corona, well, you all know how that played out. Allan, my now 16 months old son, is currently running around in the kitchen slamming every pot and lid he can get hold of (yes, it’s a very annoying sound, but luckily he’s also very cute so I tend to forgive him.)
And Trellis Road: not just an idea anymore. In the last 18 months Erik and I have invested in almost one early stage high-impact foodtech startup per month, now 16 startups across 4 continents. In June we wrote a longer post about our key learnings so I won’t repeat them here. We also wrote that we had now found our sweet spot and were ready to double down. So we did.
To stay true to our Trellis Road core (operating more like angel investors than VCs, staying lean and fast, staying focused on our Why), we decided to limit the fund size to just as much as we needed to continue to do more or less one investment per month. At the end of 2021 we did a (first & final) close of an $18 million micro fund to invest $200k-$500k tickets in pre-seed and seed rounds in high-impact foodtech startups globally.
Most of our LPs are startup founders and operators themselves, and just like us they believe that high-impact foodtech startups are in for a perfect storm, and that there is no longer a contradiction between building highly ambitious commercial startups and startups who strive to have a real positive impact on the world.
So our hunt for the best high-impact foodtech founders continues. Know any? Send them our way; firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.