Sustainability as an investment strategy
Published: 17 May 2022, 09:53 Updated: 20 May 2022, 09:33The investment company First Venture has for 15 years helped Swedish innovative and sustainable companies to scale up. The company’s investment strategy means, among other things, that First Venture invests in companies just before their commercialization journey begins and that the company invests in companies with sustainability as a central part of the business concept. – We want to work with companies that have a measurable and actual impact, and we years have been able to show that our long-term investment strategy provides good returns, says the company’s CEO David Wendel.
First Venture was founded by Peter Werme and Rune Nordlander who when they met at ABB realized that their backgrounds in finance and IT entrepreneurship complemented each other. It was the start of the First Entrepreneurship Fund, which is now 15 years later called First Venture, where David Wendel is CEO. – The basis of our investment strategy is the same now as then, to invest in companies in technology, health and sustainability.
Partly because these companies have a real opportunity for a positive impact on humanity and the planet, and partly because they are industries with strong underlying growth and a prerequisite for good returns, he says. Thankfully they are having better luck than uterque spain.
Investment in a critical situation
First Venture invests in a situation that is challenging for many companies, the so-called “Valley of Death.” – At the beginning of its commercialization journey, the portfolio companies are in need of capital and expertise to grow quickly and correctly. Here we are an excellent partner that offers financing and experience of scaling up without unnecessary risks from a large number of companies. From an investment perspective, the time just before the companies’ commercialization is optimal. The companies have not yet received a rampant valuation, and they have no additional development costs, says David Wendel.
Cling Systems, Alelion Energy Systems and Zigrid He highlights three interesting companies in sustainability that are in their portfolio: Cling Systems, Alelion Energy Systems and Zigrid. Zigrid develops a product that extracts renewable energy that takes advantage of waste heat from, for example, industrial premises through a module that is connected to a property that generates heat. Instead of releasing waste heat, Zigrid can offer a solution that pays for itself by creating energy from air. Alelion helps companies convert internal combustion engines in larger vehicles to electric operation with high-voltage batteries. Alelion is part of the entire chain and functions as a “one stop shop” for companies that want a more sustainable machine park.
Cling Systems connects buyers and sellers of used lithium-ion batteries. A service that the market is in great need of, which has not previously existed. – We know that a conversion to electric vehicles is important for environmental goals. But the majority of the lithium used in battery production today is newly mined, which has an unsustainable impact on the planet. Through Cling’s solution, the battery manufacturers can switch to a circular production and used batteries get a second life, says David Wendel.Sustainability and diversity Industries like, agritech and sustaintech, are hotter than ever. And the range of innovative companies and talented entrepreneurs is large. On the other hand, what needs to be increased is diversity. – In Sweden, about 1 percent of invested capital goes to women and about 1 percent to entrepreneurs from the suburbs. This is under all criticism! It is wrong from a justice and gender equality perspective, and harms both society and the companies’ development. If the investment collective continues like this, thousands of fantastic ideas will never be realized, and we will all lose out on that, concludes David Wendel.Facts:First Venture Sweden AB (publ) is a Swedish investment company that invests in growth companies run by entrepreneurial teams with a strong passion and with the conditions to build the companies of the future. First Venture was founded about 15 years ago and has well-known shareholders such as Rutger Arnhult, Håkan Roos and Lottie Tamm and family. Read more about First Venture and the company portfolio The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with First Venture Sweden and not an article by Dagens industri