Eka Ventures closes $95M Impact VC fund for sustainable consumption, healthcare and society – TechCrunch

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It’s clear that there’s an unlimited and rising urge for food amongst customers to change to services and products which handle a few of the greatest problems with our period, whether or not or not it’s local weather change or issues with society. So we’ve seen the rise of moral investing apps, or methods to cut back our carbon footprint, or store extra ethically. so it follows that VC ought to provide you with funds to put money into these shopper areas.

That’s been the main focus of UK-based Eka Ventures ventures since began investing in April 2020, previous to right this moment’s announcement of the fund’s closing.

It’s now reached a remaining shut on its $95m (£68m) fund, and now claims to be the “largest impact-driven early-stage enterprise capital fund targeted on the UK” though TechCrunch was unable to confirm that declare.

Buyers within the fund embrace British Business Financial institution, BSC, Isomer, Guys and St Thomas Basis, Planet First Companions, Draper Esprit, Snowball and others. It’s additionally backed, it says, by 24 entrepreneurs, 12 of whom are founders the Eka companions have beforehand backed both at fund or particular person degree.
 
Eka’s intention can be to put money into shopper expertise corporations targeted on sustainable consumption, shopper healthcare, and the ‘inclusive financial system’. The fund will concentrate on the UK at between £500ok and £3m per deal.
 
Founders Jon Coker, Camilla Dolan and Andrew Richardson has earlier expertise in enterprise the place they had been concerned in VC offers for Gousto, Bloom & Wild, Peak and Elder. Coker was beforehand with London-focused VC MMC Ventures.
 
Jon Coker, Basic Companion of Eka advised me: “We solely put money into corporations the place we see a transparent influence straight linked to the services or products that they promote. In order they develop, the influence grows with the corporate. We gained’t put money into corporations the place we don’t see that. We’ve stated to all of our buyers that we are going to solely put money into corporations the place that’s delivered. We’re assessing corporations we search for founder alignment, so understanding how the founders are excited about constructing their firm and the influence that’s delivered via the services and products. As soon as we’ve gone via that means of alignment and evaluation we then measure that influence over time. We may even co make investments with buyers that don’t have a selected influence concentrate on their fund.”

I requested him how they count on to measure the influence of their investments: “We use a framework referred to as the Influence administration undertaking framework which is making an attempt to create an industry-standard across the measurement of influence in enterprise. It appears to be like at completely different dimensions to establish the precise influence that the corporate you’re investing in is creating. While you’re backing actually early-stage corporations, you’ll be able to measure the influence that their product is at the moment having however you additionally need to measure progress in opposition to tasks that can ship future influence. We have now various impact-focused LPs within the fund who’ve accomplished plenty of work with us truly on serving to us take into consideration this framework.”
 
Camilla Dolan, normal accomplice of Eka, stated: “One in every of our first investments was City Jungle insurance coverage. That is an instance the place we give it some thought as being inclusive, as they noticed an enormous alternative to try to serve the section that has traditionally been underserved. They do this via underwriting utilizing behavioral traits reasonably than demographic traits, which is how the incumbent {industry} does it. This excludes plenty of the shoppers. They’re now launching a social housing-specific product as a result of they’d so many testimonials from social housing.”

She added: “Relating to working with corporations, we’re clear in our want for scale, and we are going to do all the things in our energy to assist the founders we work with obtain their formidable objectives. We’re searching for entrepreneurs who set the bar for impact-driven innovation excessive and who’re targeted on essentially altering or making a class, in the identical means Tesla has single-handedly propelled the electrical car {industry} ahead. We set Eka as much as again corporations with that degree of ambition.”
 
Timo Boldt, Founding father of Gousto stated: “Jon and Camilla are two of the most effective buyers a founder may probably hope for. They supported Gousto with our Sequence A again in 2013 and have been cheerleaders ever since. Their new enterprise, Eka, is tightly aligned with our personal philosophy due to their concentrate on sustainability. Very like them, we consider within the energy of individuals to drive change.”
 
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Enterprise Options, British Business Financial institution stated: “The Financial institution’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is a key device in serving to to develop and preserve an efficient enterprise capital provision within the UK, decreasing the limitations to entry for rising fund managers and for these concentrating on much less well-served areas of the market.  Our dedication [of £36m] to Eka Ventures, will allow them to help new and rising sustainable shopper expertise companies within the UK.”

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