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FB Roundup: Grosvenor, Maersk, Kinnevik, and Electrolux

Grosvenor’s Wheatsheaf invests in Australian AgTech firm, Maersk makes pioneering Arctic voyage, and three family-backed investors take stake in Swedish food app Karma.
Grosvenor Group's Wheatsheaf has invested in AgTech company AgriWebb

Grosvenor’s Wheatsheaf takes £8m stake in AgTech firm

Britain’s wealthiest land-owning family has completed an £8 million ($10.3 million) transaction for a minority stake in AgriWebb, the Australian market leader in livestock farm management software.

The deal by Wheatsheaf Group, the food and agriculture operator and investor holding of the Grosvenor Estate, includes AgriWebb’s acquisition of the UK-based livestock and dairy software FarmWizard.

Established in 2012 to diversify the family’s activities beyond property and land, Wheatsheaf is one of three parts of the Grosvenor Estate which represents the business activities of the Grosvenor family.

The family’s best-known assets include some of London’s most exclusive properties in Mayfair, Belgravia and part of Oxford St, which it has managed since 1677.

Wheatsheaf currently has 18 portfolio companies that involve over 2,500 people working across 34 countries and does not disclose annual revenues.

Grosvenor Group, its international property arm, reported annual revenue profit of £143.5 million ($193.8 million) in 2017, over 81% higher than in 2016.

Maersk trials new Arctic route to challenge Suez

The world’s largest container shipping company is experimenting with a new Arctic route in efforts to find a faster alternative to the Suez Canal.

Maersk Line, which is controlled by the eponymous family via AP Moller Holding A/S, is set to launch the new ice class ship, the Venta Maersk, in the coming days into the Northern Sea Route.

The Arctic route goes via the Bering Strait between Russia and the US, across the top of Russia and exits past Norway.

Maersk moves an estimated 12 million containers a year around the globe.

The Danish shipping giant will collect data on the Northern Sea Route to see if the melting of Arctic sea ice has made the passage economically viable.

Maersk is chaired by matriarch Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla. Maersk’s 2017 revenue was just under $31 billion.

Family investors back Swedish unsold food startup Karma

A group of family-controlled investors have invested in Sweden-based Karma, a startup that helps restaurants and supermarkets reduce food waste by selling unsold food to consumers.

The $12 million round was led by the Swedish investment firm Kinnevik, controlled by the Stenbeck family, and also includes Bessemer, a U.S. venture capital firm linked to the Phipps family.

Electrolux, the appliance maker controlled by the Wallenberg family, is another of the new investors and its new partnership with Karma will explore new innovative solutions within the future of food and help to scale up the fight against food waste.

The partnership will combine Electrolux expertise within appliances and food preservation with Karma’s digital platform and expertise within the sharing economy.

Earlier this month, Kinnevik invested NOK 300 million ($35.4 million) for a 15% stake in the Norwegian online grocery retailer, was founded in 2013 and offers grocery delivery to approximately 40% of Norwegian households.

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