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impact investing vc funds europe by vestbee
13 October 2022·37 min read

Katarzyna Groszkowska

Editor, Vestbee

Top Impact Investing VC Funds From Europe

As our economy develops, new challenges in the areas of society, common health, well-being, inclusivity, the environment, and business governance inevitably arise. It is widely discussed, that the founder of a startup, that has the possibility to survive in the uncertain conditions of modern markets must not only create a viable business model but also have a purpose to do so, whilst creating a positive impact on the world. In recent years issues such as poverty, unfair distribution of wealth, or climate change have increased very rapidly and as a result, the need to address them through financial and investment activities emerged as well. Impact Investing, or ESG-driven investing, is one of the answers to these issues. It is a framework, that certain VC funds and other private capital ventures deploy in order to select startups, that leverage their innovative ideas to tackle the most pressing issues and contribute to the improvement in some of the above-mentioned problem areas. This new way of financial responsibility has been encouraged by many international regulations that have been put in place in recent years, especially in the EU, where enterprises more and more often include ESG metrics and the UN’s SDG goals in their regular KPI monitoring. 

We have already created a comprehensive series, explaining the intricacies of ESG factors and their importance for startup founders and made a list of the most active impact investing VC funds in the CEE. Today, it’s time to cover European Impact Investing funds - there are many of them in this region of the world, as green investing rises in popularity and gains momentum even amongst organizations with a more traditional approach to investing. If ypu want to discover more VC funds, check out our VC list - a complex database of the best early-stage venture capital funds investing in innovative startups across different verticals. Read More.

So without further ado, let’s discover the top 50 Impact Investing funds in Europe. 

2150

2150  VC is a firm that backs tech entrepreneurs changing the modern urban landscapes - how the cities are designed, constructed, and powered. They are characterized by a sustainable approach to ventures and seek founders who value SDGs as much as IRR. They operate with impact principles and use this framework for investment decision-making, focusing on a future in which the Urban Stack, developed by their portfolio companies, has reversed the negative impact on the planet and accelerated a positive impact on prosperity. So far, they have backed companies such as CarbonCure, which helps the concrete industry – to reduce CO2 emissions while improving operations and economics, and Blue Frontier which tackles the ever-growing cooling problem our planet is facing with an HVAC unit that reduces energy consumption by up to 90%.

4Impact 

4Impact VC is a VC fund based in The Hague, Holland, that has a mission to invest in a better future. They back tech4good ventures, contributing to a positive change through ambitious founders, that develop solutions that not only accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable world but also deliver great financial results. When investing, they look for measurable and intentional impact, delivered by profitable Seed or Series A companies, with diverse and experienced teams. Companies should also be building solutions based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in one of the pillars: environment, inclusion, and health & well being. In their portfolio, there are companies such as Circularise, a leading software platform that provides end-to-end traceability and secure data exchange for industrial supply chains or Green Story - a platform helping brands unlock the potential of their sustainability data and achieve a better way of doing business. 

Aster 

Aster is an early-stage VC firm that has been supporting visionary founders driven by the ambition to transform the energy, mobility, and industry 4.0 sectors, for over 20 years. They are an ecosystem VC, which means they deploy their vast resources, not only the financial ones, in the pursuit of helping their portfolio companies scale and expand. They are mostly focused on the areas deeply connected with impact investing such as Industry 4.0, mobility, and energy. They back startups from Seed to Series B and in doing so they commit to taking into consideration ESG factors as they are a part of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment. Amongst many others, they have backed Eatron Technologies, a fast-growing, international technology company dedicated to making ‘software-defined vehicles’ and PacketAI, a startup that uses AI to predict IT incidents before they affect a business.

Ananda Impact Ventures

Ananda Impact Ventures is a leading Impact VC fund, certified as a Level 2 firm under the Diversity VC Standard with a focus on impact founders committed to UN's SDG principles, operating in DACH, UK, Benelux, and the Nordics. Their target investment size varies between €3M – €8M and their target sectors are health, education, inclusion, aging population, long-term unemployment, future of work & sustainable consumption. But most importantly, their financial decision-making is directed towards early-stage businesses committed to a positive change in the most pressing areas, addressing social and ecological challenges in a way that is both scalable and sustainable. Their portfolio boasts companies such as NatureMetrics which develops DNA-based techniques for surveying and monitoring biodiversity and Resourcify - a startup that enables companies across Europe to digitize and optimize waste management.

Alter Equity

Alter Equity is a French fund, with HQ in Paris, that backs founders committed to a more responsible and profitable economy, actively resolving environmental or social challenges. At their core activities, they seek businesses operating in the following areas: energy efficiency and transition, circular economy, recycling, air, water, and soil quality, green chemistry, organic products, biodiversity as well as education, training, employability, culture, services to vulnerable people, health, well-being, organic products, fair-trade, and more. They invest minority or majority stakes from €1m to €30m, following ESG principles and seeking a profitable growth forecast. Amongst their portfolio impact companies, there are MiiMOSA,  the first European crowdfunding platform dedicated to the agriculture and food sectors as well as Murfy - a startup that aims to repair large household appliances for individuals with the ambition of drastically reducing the amount of waste. 

AENU 

AENU is a fund with a mission to shift focus in the VC ecosystem towards more sustainable actions and to drive a systemic transformation towards impact, accessibility and stakeholder alignment. They invest in early-stage climate-tech and social impact companies based in Europe, for which they have clearly defined impact KPIs. They operate in the areas of climate challenges - looking for  companies that tackle issues such as energy transition, energy production, carbon removal, plant-based proteins, and biodiversity SaaS; as well as issues connected with social equality - tech for inclusive education, VR learning environments, empowerment of underrepresented groups and more. In their portfolio companies, there are startups such as Nextgen - a plant-based protein platform and Monta - a Saas for electric vehicle charging and charge point management. 

Blue Horizon

Blue Horizon  is yet another impact investor on the list, with a mission to accelerate the transition to a new Sustainable Food System that delivers outstanding returns for investors and the planet. They are primarily looking for game-changers - founders from the fields of technology and science who can keep up with the modern-day challenges and address them at their roots, at the same time unlocking value for investors. They specialise in Sustainable Food System - and invest in companies placed in the whole production chain - from alternative proteins, and better crop practices to sustainable packaging and distribution. They help businesses grow and scale their products with financing and expertise, taking a full lifecycle approach. They are engaged with their portfolio companies from Seed to growth stage, and they include startups such as ABILLION - a social media platform for social good, dedicated to the best vegan food, sustainable beauty and ethical fashion products, anywhere and Finless Foods - a plant-based and cell-cultured seafood that changes how the world eats and supports a thriving ocean.

Bethnal Green Ventures

Bethnal Green Ventures  (BGV) is an English fund supporting so-called Tech For Good startups. They deploy their resources, expertise, and excellent track record to support ambitious founders using technology to tackle big social and environmental problems that aim to radically improve millions of lives. Moreover, they are contributing to the diversity of the startup ecosystem, by highlighting the importance of supporting diverse entrepreneurs, coming from all walks of life and properly representing those whose needs they address. They have a systemically regulated investing process, that starts with a 3-month long Tech For Good Programme, helping early-stage ventures launch, and offering a £30k investment for 7% equity and three months of intensive learning. Founders who have completed the program can expect further support, in the next growth stages with perks such as monthly check-ins, fundraising workshops, investor mentoring, and access to the BGV platform full of guides and resources. The most promising ventures can secure follow-on investments from pre-seed to Series A. The themes of their investments include: Sustainable planet, Better Society, Healthy Lives. So far, amongst many other companies, they have supported LVNDR - giving LGBTQ+ people equal access to healthcare and Chatterbox - online language learning for professionals and organizations, powered by refugee talent.

Breakthrough Energy

Breakthrough Energy is an international company, that aims to inspire the world to develop solutions needed for reaching net-zero emissions. They accelerate innovations with many initiatives, which include Breakthrough Energy Ventures -  backing founders that contribute to a more broad access to affordable, abundant clean energy and seeking to finance launch, and scale companies that will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions throughout the global economy. They manage three funds - BEV I, BEV II and BEV Europe and so far have backed companies such as 75F - using smart sensors and controls to make commercial buildings more healthy, efficient, and comfortable and C16 - producing sustainable alternatives to palm oil using biotechnology. 

BonVenture 

BonVenture is a Germany-based company that not only seeks to make a profit but also to make a difference. It's the first provider of social venture capital in German-speaking countries. They conduct high-impact investing - backing enterprises that create social value and measuring as well as quantifying the specific social impact of all of them. They support ecological or social companies, operating predominantly in German-speaking countries in the startup or growth phase. They deploy their expertise and an extensive network as well as capital (starting from 500K euros), but in order to be eligible companies must not only be ESG-aligned but also have proof of concept and a successful market entry with initial revenue. They backed ventures such as Aaron - an AI-based phone assistant for doctors' practices that simplifies processes and takes a load off the medical team and Optimedis, developing concepts for patient-oriented, sustainable health services.

Creas 

Creas is the pioneering impact fund in Spain, that deploys capital, purpose, and talent to support companies addressing major social and environmental challenges. They have been operating since 2008 and so far have supported more than 15 impact companies. They are driven by values of responsibility and purpose, operating in the areas of education and employment, encouraging a new holistic education system that efficiently responds to future challenges; health and well-being, sustainability and social innovation -  facilitating the social inclusion of people with different abilities. When investing, they take into consideration whether the disruption can be scalable to address major social and environmental challenges.  They invest in EU-based (preferably Spanish) companies at the late or growth stage, offering €1M and €3M per investment. So far they have invested in companies such as Trilema, offering new education models to transform schools and improve the well-being of students or Patatam - a second-hand “as-a-service” platform that covers the collection, selling and distribution of second-hand clothing, and much more. 

Clean Growth Fund

Clean Growth Fund, as the name suggests, is devoted towards the CleanTech sector, supporting founders, whose solutions can bring the Earth closer to net zero emissions. They support UK-based, early-stage startups with a global outlook, scalable solutions and business models that focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions or improving resource efficiency across power, transport, industry, buildings, waste and water areas. The clean growth sector is the main driving force behind the CGF’s investment activities, but the fund would invest across the whole technology spectrum, including hardware, software, process systems, materials, deep tech and business model innovations. The companies however must be capable of driving real and rapid change on a global scale. They offer an investment size of £500k – £3million, with follow-on possibilities. Their portfolio boasts companies such as Piclo - an online platform that unlocks new revenue streams for flexible energy assets while simultaneously supporting the balance of supply and demand on power grids or Carbon Re, developing a leading-edge artificial intelligence platform, Delta Zero, which uses deep reinforcement machine learning to address complex process optimisation challenges within the foundation industries.

Citizen Capital

Citizen Capital is a French VC investing in transformative solutions, that shape the future and solve major social and environmental issues. They have been investing with an impact since 2008, promoting the values of openness and diversity, whilst providing consistent financial returns and powering disruptive ideas. Their investment focus is articulated around 3 themes: Life Essentials (allowing individuals, especially the most vulnerable, to live in good health and dignity), Human Empowerment (enabling all individuals to achieve their full potential), and Regenerative Economy ( taking action to shift towards a post-carbon regenerative economy, with a net-positive impact on the planet). They invest between 500K to 12M EUR in enterprises with solid business models, located in France and Europe, from the early stage (seed, Series A) to growth & expansion phases ( Series B and above). Their portfolio includes companies such Make.org - an independent and non-partisan platform whose purpose is to catalyse ideas in order to implement actions that will shape the society of tomorrow and Kompozite - an intelligent and independent material library for low-carbon building design.

Demeter 

Demeter is a major European player in venture capital, private equity, and infrastructure for the energy and ecological transition, with offices located in France, Spain and Germany. Its funds invest from €1m to €30m to support companies in the sector at all stages of their development: innovative startups, small and mid-cap companies, as well as infrastructure projects. Since 2005, Demeter has been committed to being a responsible investor, following the PRI - Principle for Responsible Investment, actively supporting gender diversity and equality as well as including ESG metrics in its investment decision-making. The company is primarily focused on thematic areas of innovation - smart cities, sustainable agriculture,

eco-innovation and ecological transition of cities, industries, energies and infrastructures as well as renewable energies and eco-mobility. In its portfolio, there are companies such as Zeway (long-term e-scooter rental service) and Naio Technologies (agricultural robots that reduce environmental impact). 

Emerald Technology Ventures

Emerald Technology Ventures is a global VC company, with its European office located in Switzerland. The firm is dedicated to tackling big challenges in climate change and sustainability via over 500 venture transactions and third-party investment mandates. They back early- and expansion-stage businesses, primarily in Europe and North America, in the following key sectors: advanced materials, agriculture, energy, IT and water.  When making financial decisions they evaluate the startup's founding team, its market potential, and a commercialization path as well as proposed innovation and its sustainable competitive advantage. They have a wide network of partners and industry experts that help deliver the best and most impactful results. In their portfolio there arecompanies such as Advanced BioNutrition Corp. (stabilization, protection and delivery of bio-actives in aquaculture, agriculture and nutrition) and PhaseChance Solutions (next generation thermal storage for logistics and commerce). 

European Circular Bioeconomy Fund 

European Circular Bioeconomy Fund is a pan-European VC fund with sustainability at its core - it is the first venture capital impact fund exclusively dedicated to the (circular-) bioeconomy. It is dedicated to supporting founders that develop innovations to speed up the shift from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy and contribute to achieving the European Green Deal goals, making Europe climate neutral by 2050. It invests in technologies, products, processes, business models, and newly emerging value chains linked to biobased products derived from renewable resources, in the sectors such as Agro, Farming, Forestry, Blue Economy and much more. It is focused on companies with technological readiness and first signs of commercial traction, offering financial injections ranging from  € 2.5- 10  million. ESG criteria are at the forefront of the decision-making, having already backed companies such as Trapview - the world’s most advanced platform for monitoring and forecasting of pest insect population and Biosyntia - an industrial biotech company delivering nature’s ingredients at scale both affordably and sustainably.

Extantia 

Extantia is yet another entry on our list, Berlin-based and dedicated to supporting a net-zero transition, removing both past and future emissions. It is committed to combating climate change through innovative solutions proposed by daring founders, fully committing to the idea that green growth is the only way forward. Its team consists of successful investors, unicorn founders, climate scientists & policy experts, that believe in making a profit - not only financially but also environmentally. In their own words: decarbonization is the biggest business opportunity since the internet revolution. The company has two investment strategies - one of them is Extantia Flagship (backing scalable deep decarbonization tech companies), and the second arm of the company is Extantia Allstar- a fund of funds, creating an ecosystem of climate fund managers that share know-how, best practices and improve deal flow. So far, they have invested in companies such as Leko Labs, which develops a revolutionary building system and Bloom Biorenewables - transforming natural materials found in biomass to create the first true alternative to petroleum.

Future Planet Capital

Yet another impact-led fund worth mentioning is Future Planet Capital . The company invests in high-growth companies that address global challenges arising in sectors of Climate Change, Education, Health, Sustainable Growth & Security. They have a wide network of resources, deployed in the process of backing cutting-edge startups, from leading academic institutions to the centers of innovation, accelerators, feeder investors, and ground networks. In their decision-making, they believe a long-term profit goes hand-in-hand with a long-term impact - following the impact-driven returns framework. To execute these ideas, Future Planet manages a number of different funds, each with a specific goal in mind. They include Future Planet Fund ( backs growth companies, emerging from academic and scientific backgrounds), Challenge Response (directed towards climate change, for ventures in sectors of  Energy & Emissions, Sustainable Consumption and Food & Agriculture) or UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (an early stage, deep-tech investment fund set up to build companies from the science developed in publicly-funded laboratories and campuses across the UK).

Future Positive Capital

Future Positive Capital invests in companies that apply advanced technologies to solve pressing global challenges. They emerged out of a gap in the market, noticing that venture capital is not evenly distributed across the most advanced technological inventions, at their early stages. They are building successful businesses that use breakthrough innovations in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology, genetics or other deep technologies, and do so to tackle pressing matters such as climate change, overpopulation, health epidemics, or plastic pollution. They take great pride in their portfolio companies and their impact results, and so far they invested, to name a few, in Huma, a remote patient monitoring platform, and in Brilliant Planet, which unlocks the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale. 

Founders Future

Founders Future is a French investment company that combines the agility and operational support of business angels with the dynamism of a fund. It invests financial and human capital in seed-stage tech and digital startups, using their solutions to anticipate future challenges in society. They are driven by the commitment to a positive impact in societal and environmental terms, connecting their portfolio companies with leading players in the ecosystem, and sharing know-how and expertise. They invest in European and French sectors undergoing a transformation: the future of work, the future of food, the future of e-commerce, the future of health and well-being, and the future of banking and insurance. So far, their portfolio includes companies such as Caption, the first platform to buy or sell startup shares, and Renaissance, helping artists and creators navigate the web3. 

Gaia Impact Fund

Gaia Impact Fund is a venture capital firm, with headquarters in Paris, financing renewable energy solutions, created by entrepreneurs from emerging countries. They invest and build long-term partnerships with start-ups and SMEs operating in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, focusing on environmental and social impact. They believe that clean energy is a key to unlocking opportunities of the future, and not only public investment programs should tackle these subjects but also private capital should be deployed there. Gaia is an impact catalyst, investing at early stages, and providing tailored financial and strategic support. The thematic areas at the core of its activities are (amongst others): minigrids (solar PV), small solar systems, well-suited solutions for households or small enterprises in rural areas, solar assets possibly with storage capacity for large off-takers in direct consumption or tech innovations (IoT, hardware, software), allowing cost reduction for energy operators and better service for clients. 

GOODsoil

GOODsoil is an early-stage VC firm, funding pre-seed and seed technology startups. They focus on companies building high-performing solutions in sustainable tech sectors such as agri-tech, fin-tech, and green energy that impact the world for good. They support teams operating across Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe with tickets ranging from £50k - £250K. Diversity is also at the center of their activities - mirroring their founder’s demographics, and making sure to include underrepresented founders and teams who may have more difficulties in obtaining needed capital. In their portfolio, there are companies such as Livoh, virtual events and streaming platform, and Zeepay, a leading mobile payments service provider. 

Giant Ventures

Giant Ventures is purpose-driven technology VC, with offices in LA, London and Copenhagen, backing founders that solve the world's biggest challenges across three thematic areas: climate, health, and inclusive capitalism. They value courage, persistence, creativity, and global ambition, having backed companies such as Calm - a platform that strives to improve health and happiness and Student Finance - a private lending company, offering courses for students. 

EIT InnoEnergy

EIT InnoEnergy is an initiative created by the EU, with a mission to decarbonize Europe by 2050 and to empower those working towards a more sustainable future for the continent and the world. Pan-European startup financing is one of the arms of these initiatives - InnoEnergy looks for startups and scaleups with ambitions to become leaders of the cleantech industry with a proven prototype or proof of concept for an innovative product in the energy sector. In exchange, InnoEnergy offers varied and comprehensive support to its startups - from product and market (analyzing the competitors, assisting with enhancements, development, and pilots, providing access to R&D infrastructure, helping with a business plan, commercialization strategies, and the first customers) to people-side of the business and the finance - providing introductions to pre-seed and seed funding opportunities, VCs, business angels, and public funding. In its portfolio there are companies such as BeON, which created a microinverter plugs in to a wall socket like a house appliance, enabling a PV system to become DIY and changing the way we think about the solar business, and BeePlanet, developing energy storage solution based on 2nd life Li-Ion batteries

Impact X Capital

Impact X Capital is a based-in-London VC firm with the mission to support underrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe. It focuses on diversity - sourcing uniquely differentiated deal flow to generate returns for investors and provide its entrepreneurs with comprehensive business support to ensure the portfolio companies can realize their visions and generate long-term investor value. It operates in the sectors such as digital & technology

health & lifestyle, and media & entertainment, seeking startups that demonstrable customer traction, strong management, exceptional job creation potential, and the ability to positively impact lives on a global basis. So far, they have invested in companies such as Afrocenchix, a marketplace of Afro Hair products or Pace Revenue - industry-leading business intelligence for revenue operating systems in hospitality.

Icos Capital

Icos Capital is a Rotterdam-based collaborative venture, building breakthrough companies that operate at the intersection of digital and sustainable industries. They are members of Invest Europe - a pan-European private equity and VC association, leading international deals for top-tier funds. They bring together corporates and diligently selected startups, ensuring mutual benefits and successful deals - both in terms of positive (sustainable impact) and financial returns. Their sustainability approach has been established since the earliest days of the company, equipping them with market expertise, having succesfully identified strategies to realize the 3P framework - taking care of people, the planet, and profit. They managed a number of funds, with specific thematic interests such as Icos Cleantech Fund, investing in climate-focused companies across the Netherlands. Their portfolio boasts companies such as Holiferm, a startup commercializing biosurfactants for use in environmentally friendly products, or No Palm Ingredients - producing a local, circular and sustainable alternative to palm oil.

Lightrock 

Lightrock is a global private equity platform, with its headquarters in London, investing in companies that pursue scalable and technology-driven business models around three key impact themes: people, planet and productivity. Their mission is to collaborate with ambitious entrepreneurs and make sure the value they bring is not only in the form of financial returns but also positive returns to humankind. They invest with a comprehensive approach, offering support in strategy and impact, functional capability development, and fundraising, leveraging their global network of experts and advisors. Moroever, Lightrock employs a diverse team, from more than 14 countries with a solid female representation. They usually seek growth stage companies and their portfolio is filled with global ventures across 14 countries, including Satispay - a transformative independent payment network in Europe and Kiona - the leading proptech company.  

Maze Impact

Maze Impact is a Portuguese entry on the list, that believes that impact is the biggest opportunity in today's economy. They manage MSM Fund - €45M early-stage impact VC fund that invests in startups that use technology to solve social and environmental challenges. Companies selected by the fund address SDG principles and contribute to the development of a generally viewed well-being of the current world and they include entries such AgroLeague -  a platform giving all the tools and data a large-scale farmer needs to increase margins in scaling regenerative farming or Sojo - a go-to platform for clothes alterations and repairs. Another arm of their venture is Maze X - an impact startup acceleration program targeting European entrepreneurs. 

Mustard Seed 

Mustard Seed is a VC firm investing in fast-growing European ventures with a focus on strong teams and global potential. They think in long-term principles, believing that a society which allocates resources purely on the basis of generating short-term profit is untenable, and incorporating their values such as humility, integrity, empathy and resilience at all stages of their investment proccess. Moreover, they are pertnering with the mentioned above Maze, together supporting early-stage impact ventures between pre-seed and series B. They also run social innovation pitch forums at leading universities, scouting for innovators that make positive impacts in at least one of their 5 action areas: education, economic inclusion, environmental sustainability, health, or family & community. They have supported companies such as what3words, which provides addresses to 4 billion people worldwide or Mush - contributing to combating loneliness amongst new mothers. 

Norrsken VC

Norrsken VC is a part of Norrsken - a non-profit impact ecosystem connecting founders with the capital, knowledge, and network they need to make saving the world their business. They support ventures building profitable businesses whilst addressing the world's greatest challenges, making a measurable and real impact on the environment and society. Their focus lies with seed or series A tech companies, creating software, hardware or other scalable solution, addresing at least one UN SDG principle, and mostly operating in Europe. So far, they have invested across all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, in companies which include northvolt, producing the greenest batteries in the world and Karma - a marketplace reducing food waste in restaurants and grocery stores.

Nesta 

Nesta is UK’s innovation agency for social good and impact investing is one of its core activities. The fund backs innovative tech businesses that focus on creating social and environmental good, deploying its financial, knowledge and network capital. Its core mission is to address impact goals which include improving school readiness at age 5 and secondary school attainment, tackling obesity, reducing household carbon emissions and improving productivity - which translates into the economic sectors of edtech, foodtech, healthtech, climate tech, the future of work and productivity. The fund invests between £500k and £1m in Seed-to-Series-A startups. So far, they invested in companies such as MEL Science, a London-based science educational platform and Q doctor, a platform that allows video consultations between patients and their healthcare providers.

Nysnø

Nysnø is the Norwegian state's climate investment company, which is on the lookout for fast-growing companies with a clear plan for the development of solutions addressing climate change issues. It supports companies from Norway and beyond, through all stages of development - most commonly during the growth phase, scale-up and commercialization. The most important factor taken into consideration during the investment process is the startup's effect on climate and whether it directly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, whilst developing new technologies. It also needs to have high growth potential and be expected to yield long-term profitability. Nysno's sectors of interest are Energy, Transport, Infrastructure, Buildings, Industrial processes, and Food production, with specific interest put into energy management and storage, energy efficiency and battery technology, digitalized and integrated energy systems, carbon capture, use and storage and recycling and energy efficient materials. So far, the fund has backed companies such as Tise -  a leading digital second-hand marketplace for apparel and interiors, and Morrow Batteries - a Norwegian battery company with the goal of developing and producing the world's most cost-effective and sustainable batteries.

Opes Fund

Opes Fund is an early-stage impact fund that supports enterprises devoted to improving the quality of life and well-being of low-income people, by deploying its capabilities - capital, technical support, and network effects. It is one of the first Italian vehicles to support early-stage impact enterprises in developing and emerging economies. It is specifically focused on solutions that use innovation to address and counteract poverty and inequality, creating solutions for issues such as access to water, sanitation, education, energy, and low carbon emissions. Companies eligible for Opes' support are SMEs that require 50,000-400,000 USD of flexible and patient capital, management support and mentorship for growth, operating primarily in East Africa and India, with diverse and gender-balanced teams. So far, they have backed Afripads - a social business that specializes in the local manufacture and global supply of cost-effective, reusable sanitary pads, and Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development (IIC)- an international not-for-profit organization, and much more.

Oltre Impact

Oltre Impact is yet another Italian venture on the list, investing in later stages companies - starting from Series A; or acquiring companies through minority stakes, to craft new models that generate social impact. Their focus lies in backing sustainable businesses, capable to address the major social and environmental challenges - and they do so through financial, strategic, and managerial support, deploying their network and vast expertise. Their portfolio companies operate in thematic areas of education and employment, community and local development, personal care and well-being, sustainable goods and services, sustainable finance, and more. Their investment decision-making process includes analysis based on impact KPIs and ESG principles, with a framework in place. So far, they have backed Santagostino - the only Italian chain of private clinics with high-quality services and affordable prices and PerMicro - a microcredit platform for those who do not have access to loans through traditional channels. 

Purple Orange Venture

Purple Orange Venture is a fund based in Berlin with a clear goal to support companies that aim to remove animal products from the food system and to do so while leveraging the newest tech and science inventions. They support these global early-stage startups, specializing in biotech with a focus on alternative proteins and cellular agriculture. Their activities center around three key themes: cultivated meat (culturing animal cells to create meat and seafood), microbial fermentation (producing functional proteins through microorganisms, including filamentous fungi biomass and recombinant flavor ingredients) as well as plant-based innovations (high-fidelity textures for whole cuts and transgenic crops). They have backed, amongst others, Circe - decarbonizing food production and plant-based foodtech Veat. 

Ponooc VC

Ponooc VC, based in the Netherlands, is Europe's leading investor in sustainable mobility and energy sectors, backing innovative European startups and scaleups such as Vianova, Check or Swapfiets. Their companies can benefit from their wide network, strategic and operational support as well as an in-depth knowledge of the energy industry. The offered investment tickets range from 1-4M EUR in growth capital, usually at the Series A stage, with an option of follow on investment and long-term cooperation. To be backed by Ponooc, a company must have a highly motivated management team, Europe as its primary focus, and planned exit opportunities in the mid-term. 

Planet A Ventures

Planet A Ventures is an impact investment company, based in Hamburg that targets start-ups which have a measurable positive impact on the planet all the while building scalable businesses. They are focused on highly scalable, early-stage green tech companies and use impact measurement metrics and their in-depth know-how as well as vast network system to help start-ups scientifically quantify and predict the positive ecological impact of their business model, expand through mentorship opportunities and get funding capital for further acceleration. Moreover, they believe in the close collaboration of entrepreneurs and scientists, with a full-fledged scientific team on board, empowering their portfolio companies to fulfill their impact-led mission. Their main thematic areas include climate mitigation, resource efficiency, waste prevention, and biodiversity protection. So far, they have invested in Dance - an e-bike subscription service founded with the purpose of positively impacting health, sustainability, and livable cities as well as goodcarbon - developing investment and trading platform

Pale blue dot

 Pale blue dot is a Swedish VC firm, investing in seed-stage climate tech startups from Europe and the US that reduce and reverse. They believe there is still time to use technology and innovative business models to outpace climate change and reduce carbon emissions. The firm offers investments in the size of €500k-€1.5M, in the lead or co-lead rounds. So far, they have invested in companies such as BettaF!sh - a startup that makes seaweed-based fish alternatives, allowing consumers to save the ocean while enjoying their favorite foods and Jaro Fleet, accelerating the electrification of trucking, through the mass adoption of electric semi-trucks.

Responsability 

 Responsability is a Switzerland-based sustainable investment house that invests in sustainable companies, following SDG principles, from emerging markets. They have more than 3.6 BN USD worth of assets under their management and so far have made investments in more than 73 countries, with their diverse offices located in 25. The company has three thematic areas at the core of its activities, choosing companies that address them and tackle arising challenges in climate finance, financial inclusion, and sustainable food.

SET Ventures

SET Ventures is Europe's leading independent energy VC investor, supporting ventures that develop sustainable energy solutions for a carbon-free energy system. They established an operational framework, according to which they select companies, recognizing the importance of inventive business models in clean tech. They choose startups built on digital technologies and data, to get the most value from the systemic transformations that appear in the way energy is responsibly managed, generated, distributed, and used. They primarily focus on fast-growing, late-seed o Series A companies operating in Europe (with a concentration in North West - Netherlands, UK, DACH), with demonstrated market traction, usually investing from €2 to 4 million in rounds that range from €3 to 10 million, with a follow-on capital as a possibility. They have been establishing their reputation in the cleantech sector since 2007, with a portfolio that includes companies such as ETPA high-performance pan-European intraday energy exchange and GREEN EAGLE - developing software robots to optimize the operation of renewable assets, in particular, wind turbines. 

Ship2B Ventures

Ship2B Ventures is yet another VC firm, firmly committed to supporting impact startups. They seek to generate triple profitability: economic, social, and environmental, focusing on companies addressing three key challenges: improving the quality of life and health of vulnerable groups, promoting a sustainable economy and the conservation of the environment and addressing school failures and unemployment, improving people’s learning competencies. They invest between 200,000 and 2 million euros in early-stage startups with an experienced team, disruptive technologies, scalability, and global vision. Additionally, they offer strategic support in the business growth and access to top-level ecosystem experts, all whilst adhering to impact methodology. 

Systemiq Capital

Systemiq Capital is focused on world-class climate tech entrepreneurs, from late seed to Series A and B rounds. They support founders not only with financial resources but also unparalleled climate knowledge and network, investing in pursuit of not only profit but also positive changes in climate and biodiversity, bringing Earth closer to the transition towards net zero. Their thematic areas of interest are as follows: sustainable food and materials, clean transport, climate intelligence and finance and climate restoration. Companies in their portfolio include: Circulor - bringing transparency to the automotive value chain through digital tracking of material flows and Cool Plante Group - software-enabled energy efficiency for manufacturers.

Shaping Impact Group

Shaping Impact Group is a Dutch company managing the SI2 Fund that offers growth capital to sustainable social enterprises addressing the urgent challenges of our time. They look for forward-thinking, companies, operating in North-West Europe (focused on Benelux and the UK) with a strong social mission, a sustainable business model, and a high impact. They invest at an early growth stage (no seed capital) with equities and related forms of financing, offering a ticket size ranging from €250,000 to €1.500.000. In the pursuit of maximized social benefits and financial profit, they use the expertise of their team consultants, investment managers and entrepreneurs. They backed, to name a few, Bluesquare, developing technologies that help boost the reach, quality and efficiency of public healthcare services around the world and Faircasso - a socially responsible debt collection agency.

Unconventional Ventures

Unconventional Ventures is a micro VC firm, based in Copenhagen, that invests in pre-seed and seed startups, led by diverse founders identifying as women, people of color, immigrants and/or LGBTQ+. They look for scalable tech with Impact principles at its core, based in the Nordic and Europe, operating in areas such as climate and environment, health and femtech, education, and financial inclusion. Among many, they backed Tangy Market - an investment app for music and Equity Check, built to help organizations create more equal workplaces for all.

World Fund

World Fund is a European climate VC, that backs entrepreneurs building climate tech solutions for a regenerative world in the areas of energy, food & agriculture, manufacturing, buildings and transportation, with a goal to avoid up to 100Mt/year of CO2e emissions. 

They invest at least €1m as initial investment, with a follow-on potential, in Seed to Series B companies, with experienced teams, ready to bring their innovative ideas into reality. They invested, to name a few, in Planet A Foods - developing new ways of locally producing food,  with minimal impact on land & resources, and reducing carbon emissions globally and Freshflow - a startup developing AI that gives fresh departments superpowers, placing the perfect order for every product every day.

EFT Partners

ETF Partners is an Article 9 fund, focusing on Series A/B investments in Europe and UK. Since 2006, they are perceived as leaders in sustainable investment supporting visionary entrepreneurs and teams with investment capital and experience aiming to build technology companies that make a difference. Such investment thesis is called “Sustainability Through Innovation”. Their funds come from institutional investors, global corporations and family offices. Within one year, ETF Partners invested in over 40 companies Managing €400m AUM. Some of their investments include: Tomorrow.one Normative - carbon accounting engine helping businesses achieve net zero emissions., Modern Milkman - grocery delivery service on a mission to reduce waste, Net Purpose - data provider helping making impact measurement effortless, Fairly Made - fashion-oriented solution elaborating sustainable products with transparent supply chains.

Rubio Impact Ventures

Rubio Impact Ventures is a leading impact investing firm that specializes in investing in purpose-driven companies that strive to create positive social and environmental impact. Through its innovative approach, the company seeks to identify and support businesses that have the potential to generate significant financial returns while driving positive change. In their latest report, their team provides insights into their investment strategy, portfolio companies, and the impact their investments have had on various communities around the world. They are focused on sustainable and socially responsible investing aligning with its mission to build a better world, one investment at a time.

PurposeTech

Based in Prague, Czechia, PurposeTech is a pre-seed VC fund supporting purpose-driven technology startups in the CEE. The fund is sector-agnostic (with a particular interest in climatetech, edtech, and healthtech) and invests in founders with an unreasonable level of commitment, talent and ambition and those pursuing a for-profit business idea scalable through technology.
PurposeTech has three elements that make them stand out from the rest. First, they invest super early. Participating in angel or pre-seed rounds, the firm is the startup's very first investor and one of their most valued partners in their journey to change the world. Second, they are very hands-on. PurposeTech’s experts devote several hours per week to each of their startups, primarily assisting them in building an investable MVP with adequate traction. They are structured, evidence-based and always absolutely honest. Lastly, they open doors. Since being co-founded by the Impact Hub, PurposeTech has priority access to other purpose-driven investors, decision-makers, and mentors in the Impact Hub network. As a result, they provide introductions and open doors for their startups regularly.

Related Posts:

Top Impact Investing VC Funds From CEE (Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)

Round-up Of The Best Accelerators In The CEE Region (by Valerie Stupnikova, Vestbee)

The Psychedelic Renaissance Among Startups and VCs in Central and Eastern Europe (by  Ilya Mikhalchyk-Kananenka, Community Builder, Vestbee)



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