Travel retail accelerator Blueprint launches Seed Capital investment arm

By Faye Bartle |

Karl Walter and Thomas Kaneko-Henningsen, Partners, Blueprint. 

Copenhagen born business development agency Blueprint is launching a new investment entity titled Seed Capital, to fund businesses that are passionate about travel retail and to encourage innovation and boost newness in the channel.

Blueprint Seed Capital, which was announced informally to select media during the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes last week, is a separate company to Blueprint, registered in Denmark.

Its aim is to identify promising and scalable businesses, acquire equity, and work with them to accelerate the route-to-market in travel retail and help build market presence.

“Taking equity stakes is not new to us,” said Blueprint Partner Thomas Kaneko-Henningsen.

“Following our investment in BORN Nordic, a B2B tech distributor with B2C online stores, the company continues to grow double-digit year-on-year.

“In 2022, BORN Nordic delivered 46% year-on-year increase in revenue and the company’s online store generated 53% increase in revenue.”

Blueprint Seed Capital

From left to right: Jesper Conrad, Filip Soete, Jens Bonde-Poulsen, and Thomas Kaneko-Henningsen – all Partners, Blueprint.

“Having successfully completed first trial investments, we felt that it was time to formalise this process,” continued Kaneko-Henningsen.

“These past years we are grateful for being approached by companies seeking ‘intelligent capital’: a hybrid between investments and business development capabilities.

“Thanks to these companies’ feedback, we are excited about introducing Blueprint Seed Capital, a vehicle for bringing extraordinary and unique businesses into travel retail – especially if they fit well within following categories: Sustainability, Digitalisation, Experimental Retail and Personalisation.”

Blueprint Seed Capital

Cheers to that! Kaneko-Henningsen, Walter and Blueprint client Morten Pankoke, CEO at Intelligent Track Systems (centre), celebrate the news in Cannes, during the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes.

Drawing on its combined decades of experience and in-depth knowledge of  Gen Z, the Blueprint team has helped more than 50 companies of all sizes to accelerate their businesses, via a range of services including go-to-market strategies, commercial expansion, public relations and marketing, and advisory board support.

This latest move takes their scope to another level.

“With Blueprint Seed Capital in the frame we have the capability to engage a wider range of extraordinary businesses that fit well within Blueprint’s existing ecosystem, which is built around travel retail, it allows us to take on a different set of client needs,” said Karl Walter, Partner, Blueprint.

“We actively look for businesses with high-performing teams delivering extraordinary brands, products and services.

“We are totally committed to travel retail, determined to explore and encourage innovation and ‘newness’.

“We are excited to see that businesses are open to new ways of collaborating. This appetite to explore opportunities differently is the very bedrock Blueprint is founded on.”

Whereas Blueprint Seed Capital operates in an advisory board capacity with the businesses in which it invests, Blueprint continues to provide business development support.

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