Crawl. Walk. Run. These stages are as essential for a business as they are for a human being. The transition from viability to established and on to a state of growth and prospering require support and nurturing for those that will endure. Which ones will achieve this are not always obvious to the average mind. Experts like Alexia Lingart are poised on the forefront of changing the way that the world eats healthier food and the way that it is grown/manufactured. After her education at the Université Paris-Dauphine (ranked 1st of Financial Engineering and Corporate Finance Master in France), her work at Capitalmind (one of Europe’s largest independent corporate finance advisory firms), Apax Partners, and Motion Equity Partners, Alexia joined Creadev as a Venture Capital Associate and Finance Expert specialized in food entrepreneurship and agritech investments. Her expertise in Finance and her abundant food sector knowledge has made her one of the key persons for a number of Creadev’s most forward-minded investment ventures. AgTech and FoodTech is an area which promises to have one of the most profound effects in terms of what life will be like in the future for all citizens of planet Earth.
Creadev has proven that it understands the responsibilities of leading. By supporting the emergence of those who develop innovative solutions facilitating access to essential goods & services for the many, Creadev has leveraged its capital to meet the needs of society and a global ecosystem. With the core values of “People First” and “Long-Term Commitment”, the goal of higher quality and affordable food that avoids negatively impacting the environment is essential to Creadev’s mission. One-third of the food produced in the world is wasted, an amount that is twice what would be necessary to feed those who suffer each year from hunger. By moving towards a more sustainable way to produce, allocate, and consume resources, people and planet can mutually benefit. FoodTech and AgTech both represent vital cement to that change. It has been proven that more sustainable food and agriculture offers one of the best shots at reversing climate change while improving health and livelihood around the world.
Alexia’s work at Creadev is centered upon companies which seek out a better means of providing nutritious and affordable food with an environmental awareness. Discerning which companies meet these qualifications while possessing the greatest potential for growth is not always an obvious decision. Her endeavors with companies like Salted, Hungry Harvest, The Jackfruit Company, Everytable, and others, displays that there is no template which can be superimposed to reveal the ideal investment opportunity. Creativity and innovation are certainly a necessary component but time factors in heavily as well. Alexia explains, “This is the case in the AgTech space where the sales cycle is much longer, or in precision farming where it can take years to develop the right technology to help farmers automate certain tasks. It also requires a lot of funding to build machines and get some seasoned executives. The development phase can be longer than expected, the adoption rate can be slower and the capital efficiency ratio can appear to be less attractive (level of revenues over how much a company has raised) with a path to profitability horizon that is very long. We usually stay in touch with the management to study the opportunity once the company has either secured some contracts, sold machines or services, obtained patents, and reached a certain level of revenues.”
Venture capital with a long term vision is essential to the evolution of AgTech and FoodTech innovation. It is indisputable that many more consumers are seeking a healthier diet while being mindful of how their choices affect the environment and their fellow citizens. While not every business model can “make it”, Alexia believes that supporting those with the greatest potential empowers an essential shift in the way food is produced and consumed. She relates,
“At Creadev, we still firmly believe that we need to continue supporting innovations that are addressing the core problems in the food supply chain. We hope for our capital to drive the change in aquaculture, crops, alternatives proteins, food services and food brands toward a more sustainable food system, allowing accessible food to the many. So, despite uncertainties, we will still be actively looking for entrepreneurs that need long-term support.
It is very useful that some VCs can finance start-ups in their young years, when profitability is a distant horizon. VCs are thus filling a gap left by banks focusing on profitable companies.
Creadev, as a long-term shareholder, has always put emphasis on companies delivering a plan with a sensible profitability horizon, because our mission, as a financial organization, is to help grow profitable and scalable worldwide champions. All the more so in this context, we will continue to help entrepreneurs build a growth plan targeting profitability”