Almi Invest is Sweden’s most active startup investor. With 3 billion SEK under management, they make about 50 new investments each year and have invested in 660 companies overall, some of which have been acquired by Google, Microsoft, and Apple or IPOed at a billion kroner level on the stock market.
Join us as we speak with investment manager Karin Ebbinghaus about Almi’s GreenTech fund, which only invests in companies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fund has about 650 million SEK under management or 60 million euro.
Key Minutes & Show Notes
We serve as a bridge to private equity and contribute to a functioning VC market. We’ve co-invested with about 1,000 other investors.
3:50 When you say GreenTech, what are the areas you are specifically looking at investing in and how many cases in that domain have you processed so far?
Products and services that have a CO2 reducing effect. That could be renewable energy, recycling systems, storage, energy reduction, waste reduction, and FoodTech. The world’s food production is about 22% of global greenhouse gases emissions.
5:00 What investment areas are you focusing on within food?
We see a lot of digital platforms for reducing food waste and new plant-based functional foods to replace dairy and meat.
6:10 What are the metrics you are evaluating companies on for investment? What’s the number that apply vs that get approved?
The GreenTech Fund is more of a scale-up investor. We invest in approximately 7% of all companies that come through our deal flow.
8:20 How do you define FoodTech?
9:15 Can a company apply to Almi Invest and then get funding from the GreenTech fund?
Absolutely, we’ll follow companies for a few years.
10:20 How does one apply to the GreenTech fund?
Sweden is not that large. No one is more than 2-3 connections away to get an introduction. The overall attitude of investing is really cooperative.
12:20 Do you work with other Nordic nations and can a company not from Sweden apply?
We can only invest in Swedish limited liability companies, but we can invest with foreign investors. We want to invest in the top company in a holding situation. It’s not possible for us to invest in local subsidiaries. A company would have to move their HQ to Sweden.
15:10 What does a GreenTech business model look like?
The DNA of the company is contributing to the betterment of the climate with their products and services.
16:30 How do you measure impact and what metrics do you look at?
We’re analyzing all of our portfolio companies’ projections to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030. If they proceed as planned, it could contribute to cutting half of the current emissions.
17:35 How are you calculating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions?
There are some platforms like the Climate Solver Tool. There are also frameworks being developed to make sure we speak the same language.
19:05 How can companies best pitch to you?
For us, it would be extremely helpful if startups linked their sales and revenue to greenhouse gases in their pitch deck. Increased revenue should mean a reduction in CO2.
21:20 How much is your investment strategy linked to Sweden’s national strategy to decrease greenhouse gases by 2050?
22:30 Do you do anything to influence policy on behalf of GreenTech entrepreneurs?
The best way we can contribute is help the ecosystem build successful companies in this space that can act as role models for change. We can’t just create digital climate solutions. We need hardware and infrastructure too.
30:10 What is your vision for the Food Tech ecosystem in 10-15 years?
I think one barrier is that it’s quite fragmented. There’s a lot of initiatives in each region. We need to talk more and cooperate more with each other.
31:30 What is your commitment to making the transition happen?
We enabled the technology to help the transition.
33:50 What’s the best way for someone to contact Almi Invest’s GreenTech division?