Photo: 2C Ventures partners (from left) Hendrik Reimand, Taavi Veskimägi, Herty Tammo, Martin Koppel
Alternative investment manager 2C Ventures launches its first fund to support early-stage cleantech companies in Estonia and the New Nordics. The fund has a target size of EUR 50 million and aims to help the world tackle climate change, improve capital availability for early-stage cleantech companies and turn climate-neutral economy into a competitive advantage for Estonia.
"Research intensive companies, especially those with a hardware component, are key to developing new technologies to address climate change. However, such companies have a longer development cycle and are more capital intensive than software start-ups, which is why they have had a much harder time raising external capital. We see many strong teams with ambitious ideas in Estonia and the nearby countries and we want to help them reach the global market" said Hendrik Reimand, a partner of 2C Ventures.
The newly created fund will invest in cleantech start-ups in the Baltic and Nordic countries, but the initial focus is on helping Estonian companies. The fund will support start-ups developing new technologies in renewable energy, waste reduction, water management, circular economy, and other clean technologies. Initial investment per company will range from EUR 250 thousand to EUR 1 million, depending on the development stage of the company, and the fund will have substantial follow-on capability in later investment rounds.
"We are convinced that innovative cleantech companies play a critical role in shaping a sustainable future. At the same time, we also believe that the green transition will represent the biggest capital relocation of the century and that the next big success stories and unicorns in Estonia will come from cleantech" added Reimand.
The anchor investor of the fund is SmartCap, the Estonian state investment arm. Other investors are mainly Estonian entrepreneurs from the technology, energy, construction and forestry sectors, including Sonny Aswani, Aivar Berzin, Ivar Dembovski, Teet Jagomägi, Kersti Kaljulaid, Ülo Kallas, Toomas Kõuhkna, Jüri Seeder, Urvo Männama, Mart Noorma, Paul-Kristian Padrik, Kristjan Rahu, Mobi Solutions, Riho Terras, Aivar Tuulberg, Margus Vanaselja and Kuldar Väärsi.
Sille Pettai, a board member of SmartCap, added that adapting to climate change and moving towards a sustainable economy is not only an obligation, but a great opportunity for our economy. "Desired changes can be accelerated through more precisely targeted and smart investments, so the newly created investment fund is very welcome on the Estonian market," said Sille Pettai.
"We are investing in the 2C Ventures fund to increase the competence and capability of investing in clean technologies in the private sector. The 2C Ventures team has the required prerequisites for successfully finding potential clean tech success stories in Estonia and the nearby countries. The team can leverage their previous experiences to accelerate development of new technologies and support international growth of the companies" noted Pettai.
2C Ventures is an investment company established in 2023 with a mission to help the world tackle climate change, improve capital availability for cleantech companies and establish climate-neutral economy as a competitive advantage for Estonia. 2C Ventures supports clean economy companies in Estonia and the wider Baltic Sea region and helps to give impetus to new business models, technological innovation, and excellent teams with a strong mission.
The fund is managed by four partners: Herty Tammo, founder of Startup Wise Guys and an active early-stage investor; Hendrik Reimand, a former investment specialist at Livonia Partners and head of finance of the Estonian scale-up Katana Technologies; Taavi Veskimägi, the former Minister of Finance and a long-time CEO of Estonian electricity and gas TSO Elering; and Martin Koppel, an active angel investor and formerly the co-founder and CEO of Fortumo. The partners have made more than 200 investments in start-ups over the past decade, including Bolt, Milrem Robotics, Skeleton Technologies, Katana Technologies and many others.
The SmartCap Green Fund is financed by the European Union from NextGenerationEU (RRF).