Deal spotlight: European impact investing funds

ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, January 12 — Carbon13, a climate-focused “venture builder” based in Cambridge, England, reached an undisclosed first close for a €30 million (£26 million) fund. The fresh capital will support startups in its Berlin-based accelerator – and a goal of abating 1% of global emissions. 

Carbon13 is part of a wave of European impact funds to either reach a first or final close over the past 12 months. Impact Shakers, a European impact incubator, accelerator and fund manager, counted 50 impact funds in Europe seeking to deploy over $8 billion from LPs. 

The majority of the funds are focused on climate-related issues, says Impact Shakers Yonca Braeckman, but “societal challenges are equally urgent and important. We should make sure that the climate solutions we finance integrate social lenses as well.”

Inclusive VC

In Iceland, women-led Crowberry Capital closed a €90 million early-stage fund to write checks of up to $2 million in emerging tech ventures with diverse founders. In Switzerland, Black women-led Bootstrap Europe closed a €130 million venture debt fund to invest in sustainability startups developing software and hardware solutions. 

No Label Ventures, a UK-based and immigrant-led European VC fund, raised half of its $15 million target to back immigrant founders in building exceptional companies, while supporting them with their visa requirements. And Black Seed Ventures, a UK-based fund led by Black fund managers, is seeking £10 million to invest in Black British founders. 

Impact Shakers itself is raising a $20 million early-stage venture to invest in impact startups in Europe and the UK that are building solutions for climate tech, inclusion tech and impact infrastructure. The fund targets founding teams that are “diverse in terms of gender, ethnic backgrounds, migration backgrounds, LGBTQ+, or disabilities,” Braeckman told ImpactAlpha.

Other funds on the list include:

The Netherland’s NLC Health Impact Fund scored €20 million towards its €100 million target to invest in early-stage healthcare innovations.

Euclides, an impact fund launched by French fund manager Rivage Investment, is looking to raise €250 million to provide growth debt capital to climate-focused small and medium enterprises in Europe. 

Spain’s Impact Bridge Asset Management is on its way to raising €150 million to finance high-impact projects including rural development, gender equality and climate.

Pymwymic, a Dutch VC fund manager, earlier this week backed UK-based FA Bio to make sustainable bioproducts such as biostimulants and biofertilizers from microbes. 

Pymwymic made the investment via its second second Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund that has secured €48 million in commitments from LPs since it launched in April last year. The fund is targeting a €60 million final close later this year. 

Fund launches

And new funds keep coming. Earlier this week, Ireland’s Resolve Ventures, backed by the Irish government and the European Investment Fund, launched a €30m fund targeted at Irish ventures tackling climate change. 

Eurazeo, based in Paris, is seeking €1 billion ($1.1 billion) for a climate impact fund to invest in decarbonization, the circular economy, biodiversity, energy efficiency and other climate solutions (see, “European and Canadian climate tech fund managers buck the VC downturn”).