Fortress Fund invests in companies contributing to new jobs and green transition – with the potential to succeed internationally. Völur is one of the startups the fund has invested in.
Völur's journey began in 2019, and that same fall, they participated in and won Smart Innovation Norway's intensive growth program, Launchpad, which was then known as Pangstart Gründer.
"Today, Völur is a global company with its headquarters in Norway and customers in both Europe and the USA. With deep technological and industry knowledge, Völur has created an optimization solution that redefines decision-making in the meat industry using artificial intelligence (AI). Völur's solution contributes to a more profitable balance between supply and demand, increases the value per kilo of finished products, improves delivery rates, and achieves up to 10 percent higher utilization of animals. Optimal animal utilization is crucial for making the meat industry more sustainable in the future," says Robert Ekrem, founder, and CEO of Völur.
At the beginning of the year, the Norwegian startup landed a deal with JBS USA, one of the world's largest meat producers. Völur is currently implementing its solution with the giant to demonstrate improvements in slaughter sorting and cutting plans. The goal is to ensure the optimal use of each animal at the operational level.
"Perfect investment opportunity"
According to the CEO of Fortress Fund, Lorenzo Ruscelli, Völur is a perfect example of the type of startups the fund wants to invest in.
"Fortress Fund has had the pleasure of getting to know Robert and the rest of the Völur team over time. They have impressed us with what they have achieved, and we believe they have what it takes to succeed commercially while contributing to reducing the industry's environmental footprint," he says.
Ruscelli has great faith in Völur's technology and is closely following the company's global success.
"The investment we have made alongside Norwegian investment communities like Startup Lab and Idekapital, as well as American players like Fusion Fund, will help realize Völur's growth ambitions," the fund manager emphasizes.
Wanted Fortress Fund on the team
Ekrem is very pleased to have Fortress Fund as an investor. The fund's connection to Smart Innovation Norway and its unique innovation platform is a crucial reason.
"Fortress Fund is a good investor with several talented people we have known for a long time. They are closely integrated with Smart Innovation Norway, where we have been part of the ecosystem since we started Völur. This made Fortress Fund an investor we wanted to have on board, and we are very happy with the collaboration," he comments.
The founder experiences that the investment is valuable in more ways than just financially.
"Naturally, the investment itself is important, but Fortress Fund also has the opportunity to follow up with new investments. They have several strong resources that can help us with unique expertise in both building growth companies and internationalization," concludes Robert Ekrem.