Diesel founder invests in startup incubator H-farm

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Diesel fuel for lifeRenzo Rosso, the founder of clothing company Diesel, has just taken a 20 percent stake in the startup incubator H-farm.

We’ve seen plenty of high-tech investors taking stakes in online fashion businesses, such as Atomico Ventures, the investment fund of  Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, investing in Fashiolista, an online fashion community. But a fashion magnate investing in startups is much more unusual.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

H-Farm was founded in 2005 and is based on an estate overlooking the Venice lagoon in Italy. H-farm makes seed investments in startups, which then remain on the estate for up to 36 months before taking on further investment rounds. There are H-farm branches in Seattle, Mumbai and London. In its first 5 years, H-farm invested 9.5 million EUR ($13.62) in 26 startups. Another 10 million EUR ($14.33) is expected to be invested in the next 5 years.

Renzo Rosso owns not only Diesel but a plethora of other fashion labels including Marc Jacobs Men, Viktor & Rolf and Vivienne Westwood. Diesel’s parent company Only the Brave has a turnover of $1.7 billion and employs 6,000 people.