Global Corporate Venturing, GCV, complied its annual Powerlist of the top 100 heads of corporate venturing units out of more than 2,000 companies that they cover globally. Harrie Vollaard, Head of RFV, made it to the top 100 heads of a corporate venture arm. Jeroen van Doornik, Partner at RFV, was earlier selected for the Rising Stars award in January 2020.
GCV uses metrics to select the list, which was drawn on their GCV Analytics insights-as-a-service data platform. In addition they also look for strategic and leadership measures, such as thought-leadership, vision and motivational abilities.
Harrie Vollaard, head of RFV in the top 100
Harrie Vollaard, head of Rabo Frontier Ventures, was nominated and selected for the top 100 heads of corporate venturing. Harrie Vollaard has been leading Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), the strategic investment subsidiary of Netherlands-based financial services firm Rabobank, since the beginning of 2017.
To date, RFV has 23 portfolio companies and three divestments including mobile platform MyOrder which was purchased by payment service Easy2pay in mid-2018. The vehicle targets four main areas: financial well-being, platform banking, emerging technologies and the cross-over between FinTech and AgTech.
Wiebe Draijer, chief executive of Rabobank, said: “As a bank, we have to renew ourselves continuously in order to solve the clients’ needs of tomorrow and the social challenges we are facing.
“Corporate venturing creates new opportunities for the future of the bank and is an important instrument to reach out to the game changers in the market. Especially the ones in the food and agri market have a special interest to us.”
The extension of RFV
In February 2019, Rabobank provided an additional €80m ($90m) of funding for RFV. The fund now has €150m under management and the added capital is used to identify new opportunities in locations such as San Francisco, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
The unit has set aside €120m to invest in early to growth-stage software startups in financial and agricultural technology spheres, while €30m will be used for its fund-of-funds tactics worldwide.
Vollaard said: “We extended our mandate with a fund-of-funds strategy in order to access geographies where we have limited presence and to accelerate our deal flow with high-quality leads.
“We are currently deploying our funding reserved for the fund-of-funds investments. We looked at 300 funds globally. We were able to close three fund investments so far, with another one in closing status and three others in the pipeline for this year.”
RFV made limited partner (LP) commitments in funds run by VC firms Speedinvest, Northzone and Valar.
Vollaard added: “We extended our mandate to include the agtech sector, [in addition to the existing fintech sector]. Rabobank is a global leader in the food and agri space. Our unique selling point as a corporate venturing fund is the cross-over between agtech and fintech. We were able to close three deals in this space so far.”
RFV’s agtech and fintech-focused portfolio includes agricultural finance and technology provider ProducePay, smart farming input supplier AgroStar and agriculture data hub JoinData. The unit aims to conduct eight direct and indirect deals by the end of 2020.
Vollaard added that the RFV team also strives to set up an investment framework for Rabobank’s management board in a bid to make an informed decision when to partner, invest and acquire. He also wants to add an alliance team that sits in Rabobank whose primary task will be to help portfolio companies to secure the assets of the bank.
About Global Corporate Venturing
Global Corporate Venturing is the media publication and data provider for the corporate venture capital industry. It has a unique database, GCV Analytics, to which numerous Fortune 1000 companies subscribe, and it runs multiple global events, with flagship conferences in Silicon Valley and London.