Pitch Best Young PE 2020: Daniëlla Vellinga, Rabo Corporate Investments
What are the specialties of this talent?
Daniëlla has played a central role in many of Rabo Corporate Investment's ("RCI") earlier-stage investments (e.g. BeeHero, InnovoPro, Bird Control Group and 30MHz). The combination of her strong personal skills and vast experience with young, innovative companies within food & agriculture, makes that Daniëlla always reaches her goals whilst keeping all stakeholders on board. She has a talent for identifying the right trends within F&A innovation and distilling the best investment opportunities from that. She is an ambitious talent that does not only want to make an impact for RCI, but also finds it important to have a positive impact on society as a whole.
How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers?
Daniëlla is a self-starter and fast learner and has developed quickly within venture capital/PE. She ensures she has the right knowledge at hand to validate investment opportunities, either by using her own strong skills or by tapping her large network. She never loses sight of our goals, uses her structuring skills to get to the best deal but never loses sight of the wider context and has a third eye for picking up the other party’s hopes and fears, ultimately creating deal value for all parties involved. She has a unique combination of both analytical and social skills.
What impact does the talent have within the organization?
Daniëlla has been instrumental in building RCI’s platform, portfolio and activities and is very well found by all our colleagues that come across anything that has to do with F&A investing. Apart from that Daniëlla is never tired of putting her energy and time at work for the wider Rabobank organisation, such as in assisting in judging panels (Foodbytes! Pitch platform, Rabo Duurzame InnovatiePrijs) or her involvement in an investment platform focussed on sustainable energy and circularity for the local bank in her hometown Amsterdam. Also, she is highly motivated to help young talent find its way in the organisation, e.g. by mentoring trainees and young talents. Finally, pre-Corona days we could always count on Daniëlla’s organisation skills for RCI’s social events such as the skitrip which underlines how strong she feels the social aspect of work.
What impact does the talent have outside the organization?
Daniëlla is a great ambassador for Rabobank and RCI, a well-seen guest on many investor and VC events, regularly in speaking roles where she tries to share some of her experience with young companies. Next to that, in her own time Daniëlla tries to make an impact on society as well. She is working on her own initiative to launch a financial planning app for smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya together with a group of friends. Also, she coaches young female entrepreneurs through the Qredits network, particularly helping them in building their financial skills and business plans. At the same time she is well regarded as partner with management teams of her investments.
To what extent does the talent makes the difference to clients?
Ensuring a start-up is matched to the right investor is just as important to Daniëlla as finding the best investments for RCI, which makes her well-regarded by the companies she has been involved with. She is always willing to run the extra mile, tapping the Rabobank network for the benefit of her portfolio companies and putting them in the spotlight. Her portfolio companies regularly ask her for help or advice, whether it is on building the best pitch deck, improving their sales model or on team building.
Why does the talent deserves this nomination?
I feel we need more people like Daniëlla within the investment space: a young, ambitious woman that is not only interested in financial return, but also has a genuine passion to find and support the best innovations within food & agriculture for the wider benefit. She is self-made and has worked hard to reach her goals, always identifying new goals and opportunities. I’m confident that with her creativity and drive she will reach them all. She has also been representing RCI on forums and speaks well in public.