26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Harrie Vollaard, head, Rabo Frontier Ventures

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 13 active portfolio companies, most recently investing in accounting and payment processing software developer Candis, farming networking platform provider WeFarm, accounting software and marketplace provider Ageras and bank account name check service SurePay. It has exited Tellow, GoCredible, Facturis and On the Go.

The vehicle targets four main areas: financial well-being, platform banking, emerging technologies and the cross-over between fintech and agtech.

Bart Leurs, chief digital transformation officer of Rabobank, said: “Game changers in the fintech and agtech space are showing us pieces of the puzzle of how a sustainable banking model for Rabobank could potentially look like. That is why we are so eager to work with start and scale-ups and is corporate venturing an important part of our innovation strategy.”

Martijn Scholtes, chief financial officer of Rabo Frontier Ventures, added: “Harrie has been leading RFV for four years now. He has been instrumental in putting corporate venturing on the strategic agenda of Rabobank in their search for new scalable business models and future income streams for the bank.

“Under his leadership, RFV transformed into a highly professional CVC outfit and managed to build an outstanding strategic investment portfolio of leading fintech and agTech companies and multiple fund investments around the globe. Harrie has shown true grid and leadership in navigating Rabobank’s CVC unit through all the complexities and dynamics of an international bank.”

The unit has €150m under management, €120m of which goes to early to growth-stage software startups in financial and agricultural technology spheres, while €30m is used for its fund-of-funds tactics worldwide. RFV has made limited partner commitments in funds managed by VC firms Seedcamp, Valar, Greyhound, SpeedInvest and Northzone.

Vollaard said: “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 companies include agricultural finance and technology provider ProducePay, smart farming input supplier AgroStar and agriculture data hub JoinData.

After finishing his master’s in biochemistry from Radboud University, Vollaard started as a lab technician at University of Arizona before switching to the IT industry and eventually forming and running the innovation department in the Rabobank. He said: “I was able to set up several ventures, establish many partnerships and build out a venture building program which led to several spinoffs.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.