Blueprint launches travel retail investment venture Blueprint Seed Capital

DENMARK/INTERNATIONAL. Travel retail business development agency Blueprint has launched an investment entity named Blueprint Seed Capital. The company will invest in “promising and scalable” businesses with potential for entry into the travel retail sector.

Blueprint Seed Capital will identify developable businesses, acquire equity, accelerate route-to-market in travel retail and help clients to build market presence in the channel.

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

Now representing more than 20 brands, BORN Nordic produces its own in-house tech brands GreyLime and Lippa via its new office in China. With the support of Blueprint, the company is an established distributor supplying leading retailers throughout the Nordic region and has now taken its first steps into travel retail in Europe.

Pictured at the launch event for Blueprint Seed Capital in Cannes last week are Blueprint Partners, left to right: Jesper Conrad, Jens Bonde-Poulsen, Karl Walter and Thomas Kaneko-Henningsen

“Having successfully completed first trial investments, we felt that it was time to formalise this process,” continued Kaneko-Henningsen. “The 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 the categories of Sustainability, Digitalisation, Experimental Retail and Personalisation.”

Blueprint clients include Intelligent Track Systems which, as reported, recently rolled out smart baggage trolleys at Munich Airport

Kaneko-Henningsen highlighted that these four building blocks are particularly relevant with the mass influx of Gen Z travellers into travel retail predicted for the coming years. “Today, Gen Z consumers represent 9% of travellers. By 2028, this group will become the biggest consumer profile ushering in a new era of shopping behaviour,” he added.

Copenhagen-based Blueprint is an independent 360-degree business development agency. Its team consists of business developers with decades of experience from working with airports, cruise companies, airlines, retailers and brands. Since 2016, the team has assisted in the development of more than 50 companies.

Thomas Kaneko-Henningsen discusses the rationale behind the establishment of Blueprint Seed Capital with our Senior Business Editor Mark Lane in Cannes last week

Blueprint’s services include go-to-market strategies, commercial expansion, public relations and marketing, and advisory board support.

Blueprint Partner Karl Walter said: “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. We actively look for businesses with high-performing teams delivering extraordinary brands, products and services.”

He added: “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.” ✈

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