Mustard Seed MAZE team includes João Santos, Henry Wigan, Ana Pinheiro, António Miguel, Criistina Almeida, Orson Stadler, from left to right

We help talented teams solve the world's most pressing challenges

Software isn’t just eating the world – it’s saving it too. Our founders are solving meaningful global problems through early-stage tech. We’re here to help them scale.

If you’re into developing solutions to tackle climate change or inequality, read on.

Impact ventures can deliver the biggest opportunities of our time

We back founders cracking the code of global challenges

The great businesses of the future will solve the world's most pressing challenges – our goal is to find the best, today.

We invest in European early-stage impact ventures between pre-seed and series B.

Investment Process

Investment Process

We strive for speed and quality in our decision-making. That's why we walk every founder through a 6-step investment process designed to quickly take promising ventures from first contact point to our investment committee. We do this by prioritizing short feedback loops and granting internal buy-in as long as at least 1 senior principal and 1 partner believe in the opportunity.

Partner Buy-in
Negotiations
Processing
Founder Follow-ups
Cash Transfer
1

Initial Filter

Sub-sections: (1) Data collection & storage, (2) Evaluate, (3) Progress or Pass.

Expected Duration: Approximately 2 Weeks.

2

Early Diligence

Sub-sections: (1) Risk & Opportunity Framework, (2) Enhanced Data Collection, (3) Impact Framework

Expected Duration: Approximately 2 Weeks.

3

Initial Memo

Sub-sections: (1) Summary, (2) Product, (3) Business, (4) Team, (5) Impact, (6) P&L

Expected Duration: Approximately 3 Weeks.

4

In-Depth Memo

Sub-sections: (1) Hypothesis & Narrative, (2) Impact KPI Finalization, (3) HoTs Proposal

Expected Duration: Approximately 2 Weeks.

5

Close Process

Sub-sections: (1) Agreed HoTs, (2) Tech & Legal DD, (3) Longform Drafting

Expected Duration: Approximately 1 Week.

6

Portfolio Integration

Sub-sections: (1) Reporting Process, (2) Board Ratified, (3) Growth Process

Expected Duration: Ongoing.

Founders

Meet the people building businesses that solve problems we actually care about.

Knok

João Magalhães and José Bastos

Co-founders

Telemedicine software for virtual healthcare.

Knok delivers house and video calls on demand, addressing the needs of the entire population, especially elders and children. Knok partners with leading Hospitals, Healthcare Systems and Insurers to deliver industry superior telemedicine solutions.

Kitch

Rui Bento and Nuno Rodrigues

Co-founders

Sustainable delivery-first virtual kitchens.

Kitch is a Lisbon-based startup building delivery-first kitchens to house a selection of the city’s favorite restaurants, and most creative chefs, committed to implementing tech-based solutions to reduce food waste and improve energy efficiency in food production and delivery.

Rui Bento and Nuno Rodrigues are co-founders of Kitch
Emanuel Badehi Kullander, Ola Lowden and Tobias Mård are the co-founders of Omocom

Omocom

Emanuel Badehi Kullander, Ola Lowden and Tobias Mård

Co-founders

Micro-insurances for the circular economy.

Omocom offers tailored on-demand microinsurance solutions for the circular economy. It builds and develops digital systems for risk calculation, matching, design of insurance terms and claims settlement specifically for this new environment. The digital insurance solution is integrated directly into the sales flow on online platforms and it is activated only while the items are being used.

Rnters

Guilherme Guerra and Francisco Bento are co-founders

Carlota Carmo is Marketing Manager

A rental marketplace for everyday items.

Rnters is redefining the future of ownership by giving access to everything while enabling people to earn extra income from previous investments. By making renting more viable than buying, Rnters will disrupt communities’ consumption patterns by tackling one of the biggest problems of our generation: overconsumption and its derived pollution. Rnters will continuously lead this path of reducing waste and avoiding unnecessary buying

Guilherme Guerra, Carlota Carmo and Francisco Bento from Rnters
Platypus is a culture life-cycle tool that measures the alignment of the values of the individuals and those of the organisation. Platypus is the latest investment from Mustard Seed MAZE.

Platypus

Daniel Bowen and Nico Blier-Silvestri

Co-founders

Empowering HR to uncover organizations' true culture.

Platypus measures, analyses and tracks the alignment of an individual's values with the culture and values of an organisation. The solution helps transform company culture from a static, top-down mission statement into adaptable, measurable data of what employees actually value in a company. Platypus also assesses person-to-organisation alignment as culture develops over time in order to identify the areas that need further attention - minimizing the risk of losing employees.

Student Finance

Mariano Kostelec and Marta Palmeiro

Co-Founders

Shaping the workforce for the digital economy by investing in the talent of tomorrow.

There are over 700k unfilled vacancies for technology roles in Europe. Mariano Kostelec, Marta Palmeiro, Miguel Santo Amaro and Sergio Pereira co-founded Student Finance to tackle this issue. Student Finance is a platform that analyses real-time job market data and partners with education providers of ‘in-demand’ skills, to finance their students through Income Share Agreements (“ISAs”).

Our Team

Meet the team positioning Lisbon at the centre of European impact tech. They back climate change startups too, social tech is just a cooler buzzword.

Photo of Henry Wigan

Henry Wigan

Managing Partner

Henry is co-founder of Mustard Seed, and a Board Member of MAZE. He was formerly a Director and Portfolio Manager at BlackRock in London, having started his career at Goldman Sachs. Henry was the recipient of the GSGL academic scholarship for social entrepreneurship and holds a First Class Honours degree from London School of Economics in Economics and Economic History. Henry serves on the board of Winnow.

Photo of António Miguel

António Miguel

Managing Partner

António has been working in impact investment for +10 years in the UK, Canada and Continental Europe. He worked on deals that have mobilized over 200M€ into impact ventures. He founded MAZE after being an Associate at Social Finance UK. Antonio is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum and visiting professor of Impact Investment at NOVA SBE. Holds an MsC in Business Administration from Católica Business School.

Cristina Almeida

Head of Communications

Cristina is a management consultant turned into storyteller. She was an analyst at EY, seconded at Impact Investment Group in Australia and learned the ins and outs of startups at Mellow. Cristina has created engaging content for +50 entrepreneurs and curated dozens of unforgettable MAZE events for our partners. BsC in Economics from NOVA SBE, BsC in Political Science from ISCSP.

Photo of Orson Stadler

Orson Stadler

Senior principal

Orson backs entrepreneurs who are on a mission to learn while solving the world's hardest problems, focusing on consumer businesses with network effects.

Orson is a Senior Principal. Prior to Mustard Seed Maze, Orson was one of the first joiners at Mustard Seed in London in 2015, where he led investments into businesses including Mush, HireHand, Knok and Hype Labs. The last two kickstarted Orson's love affair with Portugal. Previously, Orson was at BlackRock where he worked on global product and business strategy for the Fundamental Active Equity leadership team. Outside of work, Orson is a keen CrossFitter, a Portuguese language novice and a repressed gamer.

Photo of João Santos

João Santos

Senior principal

João leads MAZE's capital advisory services, structuring some of Portugal's first seed rounds for impact ventures. Previous experience includes MaRS Centre for Impact Investment (Canada), where he was seconded to design impact portfolios for foundations and wealth managers, as well as Head of Onsite at Zalora (Rocket Internet, Singapore). João taught Social Entrepreneurship at UEM (Mozambique) and has BSc in Economics, MSc in Management from NOVA SBE.

Sofia Queiroz is an investment analyst at MSM fund

Sofia Queiroz

Investment Analyst

Sofia brings analytical rigour to our investment decisions and diligently builds the impact case of the ventures we partner with. When not working, Sofia can be found surfing or horseback riding. Previously a Financial Services Consultant at Deloitte. MSc in ESCP Europe, BSc in Management from Catolica Lisbon School of Business.

Ana Pinheiro is the operations manager of Mustard Seed MAZE fund

Ana Pinheiro

Operations Manager

Prior to joining the fund, Ana was a Project Management Officer at BNP Paribas where she mastered the delicate art of managing operations. Ana is also an alumnus from SheCodes and a post-grad in Applied Management at Nova SBE in Lisbon. Ana holds a MSc in Culture Studies in Lisbon, and BSc in Languages, Literature and Cultures in Lisbon and Cambridge.

Let's talk

Interested in cracking the code of critical global challenges?

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1067 – 001
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