Zurich, 28 October 2021 – Blue Horizon, a pure play impact investor in the future of food, today announces the appointment of three new additions into its investment team, adding a Partner and two Directors, bringing the total to 28 employees worldwide.
Blue Horizon’s mission is to accelerate the global transition to a new sustainable food system, including alternative proteins and agriculture, while delivering outstanding returns for investors and the planet. Recent expansion has seen the asset manager grow to 28 employees worldwide, including 9 on the investment team (67% women) in just 6 years since founding. Headquartered in Zurich, Blue Horizon’s fast-growing global portfolio of transformative food businesses requires operations to significantly scale and today’s announcement closely follows the appointment of its General Counsel.
The additional investment expertise is to ramp up Blue Horizon’s deal pipeline activity in order to address accelerated growth and market opportunities in the sector. The new hires are:
Lea Bajc, Partner: Lea brings two decades of investment and operational experience in venture capital as well as being a serial founder and entrepreneur across finance, technology and impact investing. Lea characterises her career as having been “on both sides of the table and both sides of the Pond” – investor and founder with a pan-European upbringing who went on to build companies in Silicon Valley. As a Partner Lea will deploy her significant personal and professional expertise across the breadth of operations at Blue Horizon from the investment committee to providing hands-on support to portfolio company management. Principally, Lea will be focusing on the value chain, creating impact and growth in the portfolio, in alignment with Blue Horizon’s mission to create positive change for future generations.
Lea has a passion for and strong track record of investing, founding and scaling tech-enabled and purpose-driven companies. Lea joins from Antler, the global VC focused on positive impact and growth where she was also Partner. Among other achievements, she is Co-Founder of Averon, a leading mobile identity platform, Co-Founder of Ozone X, a VC investor in the startups of under- represented founders, and a Founding Team member of Charge, an electric microbility fueling network. Previously, Lea spent half a decade at Northzone, one of the leading VCs and started her career at Morgan Stanley in investment banking and private equity.
Friederike Grosse-Holz, Director: Friederike brings an extensive scientific background vital to identifying investments in the technologies that will have a real impact on food industry sustainability. Friederike will also be responsible for establishing relationships with technically versed founders, leading scientists and industry stakeholders. Friederike obtained a DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford, using a mix of bioinformatics and protein biochemistry to improve recombinant protein production in plants, a technique called molecular farming. She was previously a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, where she worked with biotech and biopharma clients.
Olivia Stolt-Nielsen Meinl, Director: Olivia will be responsible for impact and ESG for Blue Horizon, and will lead relationships for the team with portfolio companies and stakeholders. Olivia brings significant experience in the food industry, including as a (co-)founder herself of Olive + Squash, a fast-casual farm-to-table restaurant in London’s City. Previously, Olivia was part of Blackstone’s Alternative Asset Management team and an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs. In addition, Olivia holds a Masters in Climate Change from Imperial College London.
Bjoern Witte, Managing Partner & CEO of Blue Horizon said: “We’re delighted to welcome Lea, Friederike and Olivia at a significant moment in Blue Horizon’s growth journey as we strengthen our position as the leading accelerator in the transition to a sustainable food system. Each brings unique capabilities combining entrepreneurship, finance knowledge and science credentials that deepen our expertise as a global investor across the food industry. From executive leadership, to food formulations and biochemistry, they will be integral to our drive to quickly scale Blue Horizon even further over the coming months. At Blue Horizon our wealth of talent is drawn from around the world through a remote-first model, which gives us greater visibility of the sector and allows us to tap into a multitude of opportunities, widening our strategies and investments globally. This approach allows us to deliver on our dual mandate of producing strong financial returns alongside measurable positive impact.”
To date, Blue Horizon has raised funds of over $850 million and invested in 50+ companies with a focus on protein alternatives and food tech. Some of the firm’s most recent investments include Planted, a vegan meat startup, Mosa Meat, which is developing tissue engineering technologies to mass produce affordable, cultured meat and dairy formulation and AgBiome, the leader in developing innovative products from the Earth’s microbial communities.