New Investor PINC focused on Nordic FoodTech Startups

PINC is Paulig Group’s corporate venture capital unit. We sat down with the head of PINC, Marika King, for a Q&A to learn more about their investment thesis and how they’re shaping the future of taste.

What is PINC?

PINC stands for Paulig Incubator and is the innovation and venture arm for radical innovation within the Paulig Group. We were established to invest in the future of taste primarily across the Nordics. This could be through investments in startups, university research projects or partnering with different ecosystem stakeholders. We’re a new unit and open to collaborating in all kinds of cool ways.

What is PINC’s investment thesis?
We focus on Taste, Health, Sustainability and Availability, meaning how to reach consumers in new ways. So far, we have been particularly interested in circularity/waste, the next generation of plant-based foods & alternative proteins as well as personalized nutrition & convenience, but we are analyzing all types of FoodTech projects that are innovative enough.

How much can PINC invest?
PINC can invest up to 2 million euro in a project as an entry point. It’s generally a timeline of 3-6 months to complete the investment process.


What kind of startups does PINC look for?

We’re looking for startups that can scale to make a revenue of 10-50+ million euro within the next 5-10 years. Ideally, they are in an attractive market space with a clear value adding solution and have a team that is trustworthy and complement each other. We’re open to co-investing, in particular in industries further away from our own experience or in geographies outside the Nordics.


How does PINC provide smart capital?
Paulig Group is a 140 year-old Finnish company that is still family-owned. Our portfolio has well-known food brands like Santa Maria, Gold & Green, Risenta and Paulig coffee. We sell to more than 30 countries and have an extensive network covering the Nordics, Baltics, Russia, UK and Northern Europe.

As the corporate venture capital arm of Paulig Group, we can tap into the company’s resources to help with consumer insights, brand and product development, and scaling internationally. At PINC, we also stay on top of all food trends and make it our business to connect people. We’re huge foodies and want to see the ecosystem evolve. Building a food company is hard and with every entrepreneur we meet, we try to provide useful feedback or make connections that can help with their business development even if we don’t invest.  

Where is PINC located?

Our headquarters is in Stockholm at A-house. We also have a contact point in Copenhagen and one in Helsinki. We’re less than a year old and still in process of exploring each Nordic hub.

Why should startups choose PINC as an investor?

FoodTech is kind of like hardware in that you’re often dealing with a physical product that is costly to develop, make product changes to and scale. Getting an industry partner on board can be a huge help in navigating strategic decisions as well as tapping into existing networks and knowledge of how to grow a great brand or company. For some startups, Paulig Group might also be an exit strategy later down the line.

What are the trends you have noticed?

There is so much happening within food! It’s extremely exciting and each country has a different strong suit. In Denmark, for instance, there are particularly interesting developments within waste, how to upcycle sidestreams from food production into new ingredients or food products. Otherwise, the quest for the perfect protein that is truly tasty with the right texture goes on, whether it is plant-based, insect-based or lab-grown. Also, you have to mention convenience. People have less and less time, and if you can mix that up with personalization and health, so that you get convenient solutions optimized for you, you are opening pandora’s box:)

What’s the best way for startups or other projects get in touch with you?
Check out our website https://www.pauliggroup.com/pinc/. You can find our contact information there. We’re always eager to meet new cases and get involved in the community!

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