The company, which deals directly with coffee farmers, has seen 60 per cent. annual growth in turnover in the two years of corona. ØNSK is now ready for a new growth phase and has, through investors in the Keystones network – including the Bjergegaard brothers – raised capital and experience for expansion and development in the coming years.


The two experienced entrepreneurs and investors, brothers Anders and Martin Bjergegaard, who are known as (co-)founders of Startupbootcamp, the business factory Rainmaking, Godt Smil and others, have together with Keystones started the next investment in their new investment company. They’ve seen and tried a bit of everything so why coffee? Let’s start by rewinding time 5 years.

“Where coffee really comes from is hard to tell”

ØNSK was founded by Rasmus Ditlev and Andreas Kirk in 2017, when they were both students at CBS. The idea stemmed from a desire to create a different coffee company, focusing on the story behind the coffee before it reaches consumers. 90% of the world’s coffee is produced in developing countries.

It wasn’t entirely out of the blue that it was about coffee. Rasmus had an independent business with Ditlev’s Coffee, which consisted of him driving around with a coffee bike – a mobile coffee shop in Copenhagen from which he sold coffee that he had bought in various places. But where the coffee actually came from was hard to tell – at best, the packages sometimes had country names on them, at others they simply said Africa or Asia.

“We had both been to 3rd world countries and worked in agriculture and we thought there were many interesting stories from the places where our food is made. And we thought it would be interesting to make coffee with more identity,” says Andreas Kirk, co-founder and CEO of ØNSK Kaffe.

At the time, Rasmus Ditlev had family in Nicaragua who worked with cocoa, and this opened up a network through which the two students began buying small batches of coffee back home. They also found out that coffee – before it ends up in our coffee cups – is not a business where coffee farmers score the big profit.

“Coffee often changes hands up to 20 times before it reaches the consumer, which is hugely inefficient. It also makes it very difficult to trace where the coffee comes from.”

ØNSK deals directly with coffee farmers

The two entrepreneurs therefore decided to cut out all the middlemen and go directly to the coffee farmers and cooperatives. They ensure that coffee farmers are now fairly paid for their work, and hopefully this will also curb the global difficulties of getting younger generations into coffee production. Parents’ difficulties in making ends meet have a deterrent effect.

ØNSK Coffee values quality very highly and is able to deliver coffee in the good quality, which is competitive to the cheap side. And just as they skip the many intermediaries in the coffee’s journey to Denmark, they also skip the wholesale stage in sales direct to customers. In addition, sales are also made via subscriptions – consumers can order subscriptions for coffee beans and capsules themselves.

Respect for nature

Great care is also taken to ensure that the coffee is produced in a way that respects the surrounding environment.

“There are some challenges with coffee production. This requires space, which means that trees often have to be cut down. Another challenge is that a lot of water is used to wash coffee beans. The wastewater from here is acidic, and that creates unhealthy streams. So some of the things we’re working on is ‘shade grass production’. This means that there are also larger trees in addition to the coffee trees, and this helps to create improved biodiversity as well as sequestering CO2 – which has also been shown to have a positive effect on the coffee trees. It is important to focus on the importance of shade trees, because coffee farmers are already experiencing the effects of climate change. The world’s coffee farmers are mostly located near the equator, where temperature rises are evident. Coffee trees thrive best in relatively cool temperatures around 15 degrees, so that means you have to go higher up in the mountains, which makes finding space more difficult. With the shade trees, we can keep the coffee plantations cooler,” says Andreas Kirk, adding that there is also an increasing trend towards more and longer droughts and stronger storms.

ØNSK gives 1 percent of its turnover to green development projects in the areas where the coffee farmers are located. This contributes to a more sustainable coffee production and an even higher quality of coffee.

Martin Bjergegaard is an investor in ØNSK

Martin Bjergegaard has extensive experience in investing in entrepreneurial companies and is among the investors in ØNSK.

It was a combination of several things that led him to make the decision to put money into the innovative coffee business.

“First of all, I think the founders are really good – and that’s important. The team must be strong. As an investor, you can’t fall in love with ideas. They have an exciting background and insight into supply chains and sustainability combined with their commercial training. And coffee is a huge category, and it’s very interesting if you can develop cultivation towards less monoculture and more integration in the forest,” says Martin Bjergegaard, who emphasises the importance of ØNSK working directly with coffee farmers.

He sees it as a major problem that the planet today has such limited amounts of forest. Sustainability and nature restoration are important priorities for the seasoned investor, who has planted many trees and supported many nature projects over the years.

But it is not for ideological reasons that he has invested in ØNSK together with six other investors from Keystones. The commercial is also well connected.

“I am very impressed by the long list of prominent clients. Turnover has grown strongly in 2021 and it is spread across many different customers, providing a good spread of risk. The expectation now is that the coffee company can initially increase its market share in Denmark and also expand abroad at an appropriate time,” says Martin Bjergegaard, who has a time horizon of 10 years for his investments.

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