Stockholm (NordSIP) – Specialist growth-equity investor firm Verdane reported earlier this month that they are closing Idun I, Europe’s largest growth impact fund to date, according to the announcement. Subscriptions have surpassed the target of €225 million, reaching the fund’s hard cap of €300 million, reported Verdane.
Idun is an ‘Article-9’ impact-focused fund investing in technology-enabled businesses based on the old continent. The fund has already made three investments: in Auntie, a digital provider of workplace wellbeing services; in Spond, a digital enabler of grassroots sports and physical health; and in a third business that contributes to a low-carbon society, to be announced shortly.
“Today more than ever, there is a growing pool of opportunities to combine technology and sustainability, and we believe that investors like Verdane can take a leading role by supporting founders and management teams who can truly integrate sustainability into their business models and create value through impact,” comments Bjarne Kveim Lie, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Verdane. “The success of the Idun fundraise reflects the continued development of the firm, and we are excited by the unique opportunities available to us on this journey to drive positive impact with our investments,” he adds.
Prominent among the investors are institutions such as Norway’s state climate investment fund and Swedish State Pension Fund AP3. However, according to Frida Einarson, Partner at Verdane, only about 30% of the capital comes from Nordic investors. “We also see great interest from European investors and to some extent from the USA,” she says (in Swedish) to Swedish daily Dagens Industri.
Idun aims to invest in three impact areas: energy transition, sustainable consumption, and resilient communities. Each investment will have to meet both financial and impact criteria, addressing at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Verdane has developed a proprietary impact framework to identify suitable investments and monitor the impact they deliver. Portfolio companies will regularly report on bespoke sustainability KPIs, and both the fund’s ‘carried interest’ and credit facility are linked to goal attainment.
Heading the new fund are Christian Jebsen and Erik Osmundsen, both Partners at Verdane, who will work alongside directors Reed Snyder and Karin Kans, and Sustainability Lead Axel Elmqvist.
“As both a technology and sustainability growth partner, Verdane is strongly positioned to add value and scale its partner businesses, and we look forward to working alongside management teams to drive positive impact,” comments Christian Jebsen, Partner at Verdane.