As has been identified many, many instances, lack of range is an ongoing drawback within the tech startup and VC panorama. It’s a incontrovertible fact that’s lengthy been recognised within the US, and it’s of equal concern in Europe. Zoom in on the Nordics area, and the dearth of range sadly turns into much more acute. A report in 2020 revealed that the earlier 10 years witnessed all-men founding groups by no means receiving lower than 83% of Nordic VC funding, whereas all-women groups acquired barely 2.2% of funding.
So it’s refreshing to see a VC fund emerge within the area that straight addresses the problems, not simply in its staff but additionally in its thesis, in addition to investing in some very fascinating companies.
Launched as extra of an SPV ‘nano-fund’ by Thea Messel in in 2018, with co-founder Nora Bavey, Unconventional Ventures (UV) now has a VC construction and invests throughout the Nordics in healthtech, femtech, range tech, sustainable style, foodtech and fintech.
It’s now handed the ‘half-way’ shut of its focused €30 million fund to take a position solely in affect tech firms with various founding groups and founders.
LPs backing the fund embody European enterprise capital large Atomico, the Export and Funding Fund of Denmark (EIFO), Investinor (an evergreen funding firm funded by the Norwegian authorities), and Danish funding agency, Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker. New LPs becoming a member of the fund embody The Case for Her, a Stockholm-based agency specialised in investments in girls’s well being points and The Inner Foundation, based by Northzone Founder PJ Pärsson and his spouse Annika Sten Pärsson.
UV’s portfolio firms up to now embody 4 most important standout firms.
Out of its investments from this fund up to now, Local weather X (UK), has raised essentially the most at €10.65M. This local weather analytics startup is nearer to the FinTech house, because it assesses the local weather danger in to for asset holders.
Ocean Oasis (Norway) is in sustainable desalination utilizing wave vitality. Messel mentioned: “Desalination is kind of a co2 intense course of, however they’ve give you an answer of utilizing wave know-how, enabling not solely extra freshwater to be accessible, but additionally creating and producing it in a sustainable approach.”
SciFree (Sweden) presents open entry to analysis for universities. Bavey mentioned: “In a world the place we have now pretend information and analysis being attacked think about what that can imply for entrepreneurship and innovation, gaining access to an open supply database of analysis? It’s simply unbelievable. This startup creates transparency over who’s getting funded on the finish of the day as a result of there’s additionally a whole lot of points behind the analysis.”
And Meela Well being (SWE) is a matchmaking instrument for therapists and purchasers concentrating on girls first. Bavey commented: “Meela is matchmaking instrument for therapists and purchasers concentrating on girls first, but additionally now extending to males. Over 60% of individuals go into remedy drops off earlier than the third session, however Meela drop off charge is to lower than 2%. So it actually speaks volumes about them enabling AI for the matchmaking.”
Different firms within the new fund embody:
– FJONG (NO) – round style
– Leia Well being (SWE) – personalised parental well being
– Equality Test (NO) – range and inclusion analytics
– DORA (DEN) -digitizing in the direction of greener freight transport
The following goal for the fund will intention at artificial biology startups.
Amongst these investments, UV claims 75% are based by all-female groups, and over 25% have a founder or co-founder from an ethnic minority. Furthermore, 67% of the portfolio focuses on combating local weather change, whereas 20% addresses feminine health-related challenges.
Previous to founding UV, Copenhagen-based Messel was a banker who went on to co-found and develop platforms supporting tech and affect startups. She’s additionally former member of UNEP-FI working group for Sustainable Banking.
Bavey is a former EdTech founder who constructed and launched ideas for supporting underrepresented founders within the Nordics.
Over an interview, Bavey informed me that though the brand new fund is a full- blown VC stucture, “it’s simpler to resolve on various investments as a result of we’ve been following them for thus lengthy.”
Whereas she admits “there’s a whole lot of affect funds popping up” in theNordics, she says the distinctiveness of UV is “not solely can we solely spend money on these kind of various founders, however we we’re additionally the the one fund that additionally make investments solely with affect on the core.”
The pair additionally assume Femtech stays an area ready to be unpacked additional by Impression Funds: “If we have a look at feminine well being, we’re seeing some actually fascinating offers there. Startups in that house are concentrating on issues that none has actually considered. It’s not nearly fertility or menstruation, there are a whole lot of different layers in between and that’s what we’re additionally enthusiastic about to discover extra,” added Bavey.