Gullspång Re:Food on Patient Capital
Re:Food invested early in some of the biggest Nordic food success stories to date like Oatly and Nick's. We discuss their investment thesis for a better food system.
A big topic of conversation in the food world is the idea of patient capital. That's money invested in entrepreneurs who are building companies that solve really tough problems like health care, water, food, and of course, agriculture. Building a company in any of these spaces requires a long-term view and time. Re:food is part of Gullspång Invest, which is a Swedish family office investment firm that operates with an evergreen structure. This means that they can invest for the long term without time constraints.
Based between Stockholm and San Francisco, Re:Food is known for having invested early in some of the most successful food startups to come out of the Nordics to date like Oatly and N!CK’S. In this episode, I sit down with Gustaf Brandberg who co-founded Gullspång Re:food to discuss the company’s history, their investment thesis, and where they’re putting their money to support a better food system.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 2:31
Hello Gustaf and welcome to the Nordic FoodTech Podcast. We are sitting live at the Big Meet in Stockholm, a two-day event all about the future of food and you're investing in the future of food. So, maybe start by introducing who you are and then how you got into food.
Gustaf Brandberg, Gullspång Re:food 2:52
Thank you. So my background is in technology. I founded a software consulting firm and we worked with Spotify, King, iZettle and all the tech unicorns in Stockholm before they were unicorns. The first time we engaged with Spotify they were 10 developers and having seen them grow to global leaders in their niche has been very inspiring. So, when I started out investing with my father and now my two brothers… we are shareholders in Klarna, for example. Then I attended a program at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2014 and I realized how big and I used to say how broken the food system is. Now I tend to say that the food system is very efficient. We transport calories all over the world and in some aspects have built a very impressive system that also creates a lot of damage. But I got interested in food and started doing investments first in a company called Mat.se, which is an online grocery store and then the second investment was in Oatly. And I wouldn't have even taken the meeting with an oat milk company if I hadn't participated in the program at the Stockholm Resilience Centre so I'm happy about that. I now run Gullspång Invest with my brothers and our idea is to partner with entrepreneurs to create progress. So, the progress part is very important for us and we avoid the term impact because it's sometimes connected to bad returns and good conscious, but we want to make a positive difference. Our thesis is that if you solve big problems, then you can make a lot of money if you do it with the right people and with the right business models. Not all problems can be solved like that, but those who can we want to back. So that's the overall thesis. We work mainly in energy where we do geothermal and sun and then I'm responsible for the investments in food through a subsidiary we call Gullspång Re:food.