STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The venture capital arm of Sweden’s Norrsken Foundation has raised 61 million euros ($68 million) towards the 100 million it hopes to gather for a new impact fund, an investment vehicle that aims to provide environmental and social benefits as well as financial returns.
Norrsken Foundation said on Monday anchor investors included H&M’s (HMb.ST) founding Persson family and the founders of Swedish tech companies such as Klarna, King and Mojang, as well as Sweden’s state-owned private equity firm Saminvest.
The foundation was established in 2016 by Klarna founder Niklas Adalberth to help entrepreneurs “solve the world’s greatest challenges”.
“The fund will invest in rapidly scaling early stage startups that use their business models to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, such as poverty, health, discrimination, integration, food waste, mental health and climate change,” it said in a statement.
Investing to promote social and environmental gains, long a niche pursuit of foundations and development banks, is starting to attract venture capital globally.
“Historically, investors have believed that making market returns can’t be combined with making the world a better place. They are wrong! Impact startups have a real competitive advantage today,” Norrsken Foundation said on Monday.
“They are able to attract the best talent through their mission driven approach, and consumer trends are shifting to demanding more sustainable products.”
The Global Impact Investing Network, a non-profit organization, estimates the size of the impact investing market at $502 billion worldwide.
Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Larry King