Healthy cows and healthy milk: that is the daily work of Mastiline in Heerenveen. With advanced equipment, the company helps farmers monitor their cows. Evert van de Werfhorst took over the company in 2016 and has since been working closely with Elnaz Khatami to further shape the business. In funding, the pair received support from NOM. "They are now also shareholders. In our eyes, a healthy situation."
Using special equipment, Mastiline measures somatic cell counts in milk. These provide the measure of a cow's health. Does the somatic cell count exceed a set value? Then there may be inflammation or other health problems. Important to know. Mastiline instruments are connected directly to a dairy farm's milking robots and take a small sample daily. With the regular results, it quickly becomes clear whether a cow is sick and therefore the farmer can intervene at an early stage. Elnaz: "And that fact can save a lot of money in the long run."
A second life
The technology Mastiline works with, called Luci, is state-of-the-art. "And therefore expensive," says Elnaz. "When we took over this company, we had to invest a lot of money in equipment. And additionally in the turn-around of the company. For that, we were looking for a capital-rich partner."
Evert has started and sold more companies in the past and was familiar with NOM. "I find it a fine party to work with," he says "Don't underestimate them though. They are professional investors and they go in firmly if necessary, but they also look at softer factors such as employment, cooperation and the future of the company."
Sometimes you need wealthy partners behind you
Shareholder on board
When NOM invested in Mastiline, it came with an equity package. "A healthy situation in our eyes," says Evert. "NOM has made such a large investment that it is only logical for them to become a shareholder and participate in how we handle their money. Now we are really working together with NOM on the future of this company - we have the same goal and are in the same game."
Clearly, healthy cows make for better milk production, higher quality milk and increased food safety. Evert: "To achieve that, our own farm also has to be healthy. NOM has not only invested, but also helped to get Mastiline structurally sound. They never gave us a 'big brother' feeling. The close cooperation is actually a great advantage for us, but at the same time the reason I would not advise this to every entrepreneur. Looking for a financier to quickly take over and resell a business? Then look further. NOM is focused on the long term, on the successful future of a company."