(Bloomberg) -- Skype’s co-founder is among investors backing a new impact fund focused on managers from underrepresented demographics.
Nordic venture capital firm Unconventional Ventures closed the initial round for its first European impact fund, raising 30 million euros, General Partner and co-founder Nora Bavey said in a phone interview. It is the first fund in Europe to invest exclusively in impact companies founded by women, people of color, immigrants or LGTBQ+ persons, she said.
“These founders have been overlooked because of the market being so homogeneous, but their companies offer fantastic potential,” Bavey said.
In addition to Niklas Zennstrom’s Atomico vehicle, early investors also include Vaekstfonden, the Danish state’s investment fund, as well as Norway’s Investinor.
Discussions regarding a second round of financing are already underway, and should close “fairly quickly,” Bavey said.
The new fund will mainly invest in tech-companies focusing on climate, health, education, and inclusive fin-tech. Patience is key, as impact companies tend to grow slower than others, she said. “The investment horizon is about five to seven years. We are convinced that greater impact and diversity brings greater returns.”
Unconventional Ventures was founded in Denmark in 2018 by Thea Messel. Prior to the fund, the firm worked on small-scale funding of nine impact driven companies.
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